Afghanistan seeks Indian investment to boost its agri sector
Date of Publication : Saturday 4 December 2010 17:53
Afghanistan today sought Indian investment and technology in agriculture sector, as the war ravaged nation is in the process of rebuilding its economy.
"I invite Indian investments and private companies in rejuvenation of agriculture sector," Afghan Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Live Stock Mohammad Asif Rahimi said at CII Agro Tech summit that got underway here.
He said agriculture is high on agenda of his government and his country requires $4 billion worth of investments in the sector in the coming three years.
The country had faced years of civil war that shattered its infrastructure, agriculture and human resources.
The visiting minister who is scheduled to meet a host of businesses, said the Afghan government will provide all sort of help and security to investors.
"We will provide land (on lease) besides ensuring adequate security through legal framework," he said.
Afghanistan has about 8 million hectare agricultural land and about 25 per cent is irrigated.
"Technology which India can offer will be more sustainable and cost effective (for us)," he said adding the agricultural situation in the two nations was similar.
Afghanistan, for which India is a big market for agricultural produce, is looking for investments in areas like irrigation, water management, soil testing, food processing and setting up of value chain.
Referring to about 4,000 Afghan students who are studying in India, Rahimi said his country requires thousands of professionals and experts for economic growth.
"We want them (the students) to return home…and participate in development," he said.
Besides other agricultural produce, India imports grapes, pomegranate, almonds and walnuts to the neighbouring country. Rahimi said his country would also be exporting olive oil, medicinal herbs and pashmina in the near future.
The bilateral trade between the two nations stood at $588.74 million in 2009-10.