Afghanistan invites Indian businesses to invest in agri sector

Afghanistan on Saturday invited Indian businesses to invest in its agriculture sector, saying it offers great opportunities in the fields of manufacturing, processing, packaging and marketing of farm products.

Addressing a four-day conference and exhibition ‘Passage to prosperity: India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show’, Afghan’s Deputy Minister for Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Naseer Ahmed Durrani said the country’s farm production and exports are rising and invites Indian businesses to invest in Afghanistan.

“Rebuilding trade relationships and expanding export markets for Afghan products are critical for Afghanistan job creation, capital flows and overall stability, Afghanistan is looking for potential investors in the areas of agriculture manufacturing and processing, packaging, trading and marketing,” Mr Durrani said.

“We export dry fruits, fresh fruits to India with opening of Air corridor between Kabul and New Delhi and Kabul and Mumbai, Afghanistan’s agri exports are on the rise and are expected to increase by by 30 per cent this year to 260 million dollars from previous years 200 Million dollars.”

Top export destination for Afghanistan are Pakistan and India followed by China, Iran and Turkey, he said. He said Afghan produce has long been a favourite of Indian consumers. Afghani apples, grapes, apricots, pomegranates and raisins continue to be a staple of Indian hospitality. With increased capacity of Afghan producers and exporters to deliver the freshest of produce to market, these quality products are once again finding their way onto supermarket shelves.

Agriculture is the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy. Up to 80 per cent of Afghans are dependent on farming and livestock, and agriculture contributes 25 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

More than 50 agriculture exporters from Afghanistan participated in the exhibition in Mumbai to explore business tie ups as well as to showcase their finest high value agriculture products including fruits, nuts and spices for the first time for Indian buyers from Maharashtra and neighboring states at the four-day show.

It was organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and concluded here on Saturday.  The current bilateral trade between the two countries is 900 million dollars and is expected to reach two billion dollars by 2020. 

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