The Asian Development Bank Contributes US$ 75 Million to Develop Horticulture Value Chains in Afghanistan

 22 Nov 2018: Today (22 Nov 2018), H.E. Dr. Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, Acting Minister of Finance and Chief Advisor on Infrastructure to H.E. the President, and Mr. Samuel Tumiwa, ADB Country Director for Afghanistan, signed a grant agreement  of $75 million to help in the development of horticulture value chains in Afghanistan. The aim of this contribution is empowering farmers, crop producers, as well as agriculture enterprises to become major contributors to the country’s economy.

“The development of horticulture will provide abundant employment opportunities and livelihoods to the Afghan population which will result in a better economy and increased food security. The Afghan government is committed to increasing the horticulture capacity and supporting investments in value chains in Afghanistan,” said Minister of Finance Mohammad Homayon Qayoumi.

“Agriculture is central to Afghanistan’s social and economic development, with the sector employing two-thirds of the country’s national workforce and contributing 21.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017,” said ADB Afghanistan Country Director Mr. Samuel Tumiwa. “A major contributor to the sector is horticulture, with crops generating over $1.4 billion annually representing 34% of agriculture’s total GDP. Supporting horticulture value chains will further boost the subsector’s contribution to the country’s development.”

 The Horticulture Value Chain Development Sector Project will improve agricultural productivity and food security in Afghanistan, while helping promote business linkages between agro-business enterprises and farmers. This will help boost growth in the subsector, which is mainly constrained by a large number of geographically scattered small-scale producers that lack access to finance as well as proper agriculture infrastructure and inputs.

For agro-business enterprises, the project will help provide pre-cooling rooms; pack-house, sorting, or grading buildings and equipment; storage facilities; processing equipment and machinery; a quality control accredited laboratory; tissue culture laboratory; and an introduction to international best practices for horticulture processing plants.

 As part of the risk-sharing mechanism and sustainable financial management of the project, selected enterprises will have to contribute 50% of subproject costs and implementation. Eligible farmers, meanwhile, can benefit from the project through assistance for modern greenhouses; planting material; on-farm storage for onions and potatoes; facilities for growing grapes; on-farm processing, drying, and grading equipment; and on-farm water sources and distribution systems. A nongovernment organization will be engaged as the facilitation partner to promote linkages between enterprises and farmers.

The project will also improve the quality and scope of Afghanistan’s horticulture exports, particularly through research, incorporation of international best practices in the subsector, and the promotion of national marketing strategies for uniquely Afghan horticultural produce.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing.