Directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) - supported by the EU-funded MAIL Transition Project, managed by Landell Mills - exhibited at the 18th AgFair and Farmer’s Day on 22nd March in Kabul. The fair is the largest in Afghanistan and seeks to boost trade and increase the local and international markets for Afghan products.
The Perennial Horticulture Development Centers (PHDCs) showcased a variety of produce, attracting 8,000 visitors over the three days. They also provided information on breeding and certified planting material from the National Collection of fruits and nuts. The governor of Kabul Province praised the role of PHDC, saying “There are too many challenges in the horticulture sector in Afghanistan and PHDC is playing a strategic role in this industry. In the northern zone of the country farmers are facing some problems with apricot disease. The PHDC can conduct a research programme in the northern zone of Afghanistan and tackle the farmers’ problems.”
The Seed and Planting Materials Certification Directorate (SPCD) provided information on the production of tissue cultures in Afghanistan that producers can utilise in their own private labs. Ahmad Jawad, one of the SPCD booth’s visitors said, “We import saplings from other countries which cost us $8 per sapling, but when I discussed this with SPCD staff they suggested that I establish my own lab here in Afghanistan to produce the same sapling for no more than 25 cents.”
Attendees included the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Kabul Governor, parliament members, farmers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, producers, input suppliers, service providers and private sector representatives.