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ADB’s governors approve ADB’s financial statements

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2020)

The Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank approved ADB’s financial statements in its first-ever virtual Annual Meeting.

ADB on its official website wrote that its Board of Governors had approved ADB’s financial statements and the allocation of its 2019 net income in the Annual Meeting today.

The annual meeting took place through video conferencing (VTC) Friday amid the COVID19 pandemic.

In his remarks to the meeting, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said, “Our immediate priority is to provide vital support to developing member countries as they confront the COVID19 pandemic and return their economies to a path of sustainable growth,”

“Your approval today of the financial statements and allocation of net income ensure that we have the tools and financial stability to address the enormous challenges that now affect the lives and economies of millions of people across our region,” he added.

The Chair of the Board of Governors said, “Our choices and efforts today will determine whether we can overcome the current health care and economic crises.”

He added, “The ADB should turn this crisis into an opportunity while enhancing knowledge sharing on COVID-19 policy responses and expanding support for low-income countries and vulnerable groups.”

The Board of Governors adopted a resolution to allocate $1.069 billion of net income from ADB’s 2019 ordinary capital resources.

The allocable net income will be distributed as follows:

  • $615.7 million to support ADB’s capital adequacy to generate net income,
  • $259.5 million to the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s low-income member countries,
  • $130 million to the Technical Assistance Special Fund, which includes support to respond to the COVID19 pandemic,
  • $30 million to the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund,
  • $24 million to the Climate Change Fund, and
  • $10 million to the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.

ADB is actively supporting its members as they address the effects of COVID-19 through its $20 billion response package announced on 13 April.

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Fruit production sees 30 percent increase in Balkh – officials

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

Officials at the Balkh Department of Agriculture and Livestock say that fruit harvests in the province are up 30 percent compared to that of last year.

Salem Sayi, head of the Balkh Department of Agriculture and Livestock, said that despite strong winds and torrential rains that have damaged trees, fruit yields have increased by 30 percent in comparison to last year.

On the other hand, a number of gardeners in Balkh say that the lack of markets and refrigeration storages have caused them to sell their products at low prices.

The head of the Balkh Department of Agriculture and Livestock said that the Coronavirus crisis had also damaged the horticultural industry and that they could not export fruit to other countries.

Presently, Balkh has 23,000 hectares of agricultural land where a variety of fruit trees are grown.

Officials at the Balkh Agriculture Department say that new orchards are being built on an area of 23,000 acres a year.

They say that 20 refrigeration storages have been built for apple and pomegranate storage, and the construction of new cold storage houses is to be assumed this year.

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Covid-19 impacts; Afghanistan’s exports on hold

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Afghanistan’s exports to other countries have been stalled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and no alternatives have been considered yet.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) blames the government for failing to remove hurdles in Afghanistan’s exports, saying that the private sector will lose millions of dollars if trade with neighboring countries does not resume.

Officials in ACCI say that trade routes with neighboring countries have been blocked since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and the government has failed to find alternatives.

On the other hand, experts attribute the lack of work capacity in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan to the decline in exports to other countries.

“Officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have failed to come up with a basic plan for exports and investment in the country,” experts say.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country, a number of countries, including Iran and Pakistan, have closed their borders with Afghanistan.

In addition to the cessation of Afghanistan’s exports, this act sparked prices to rise domestically.

Meanwhile, experts and traders believe that the government should look for alternative ways to keep the drift of export and import alive.

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Unprecedented growth in watermelon harvest – Farah

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

This year, more than 789,000 tons of watermelon will be harvested in Farah province.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said that the figure is up 6 percent compared to that of last year.

Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock say that this year’s watermelon harvest in Farah province will be 789,400 metric tons. According to the officials, about 19,000 hectares of land have been cultivated  for watermelon in Farah province this year.

Meanwhile, a number of farmers in Farah province are worried about the lack of markets for the watermelon products.

They say that if there is no market, their products will be wasted.

This comes as a number of farmers in the province say that if the government doesn’t support the marketing of watermelon products in this province, their products will be destroyed this year.

Officials in the Chamber of Commerce and Investment have criticized the government, saying that the Ministry of Commerce should have previously marketed domestic products.

According to them, the government’s negligence will discourage farmers from producing crops.

They say South Asian countries are the best market for watermelon, but claim that Pakistan has blocked the export of the product to a number of countries.

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