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World Bank approves $400 million grant for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 8, 2020)

The $400 million grant by the World Bank is to alleviate the COVID-19 crisis in Afghanistan.

The World Bank approved $400 million Friday to sustain reform momentum and mitigate crisis caused by COVID-19 in Afghanistan.

In a press release Friday, the World Bank announced that its board of executive directors approved a $400 million grant for Afghanistan.

The grant is aimed “to help Afghanistan sustain the pace of key economic and public finance reforms, and support the country to manage current risks and uncertainties compounded by the COVID-19 crisis”.

The release highlights, “The Incentive Program Development Policy Grant comprises $160 million from the International Development Association (IDA).”

“The World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and $240 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), managed by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors,” said in the press release.

Aryan News Analytical

As per estimates, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, millions of dollars in financial aid have flowed into the administration of Afghanistan.

Point to be noted for the time to reveal is know where and how these funds will actually be spent – whether they will be managed transparently in and for what is meant for.

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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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