Mullah Baradar urges Afghan traders abroad to invest in country

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The first deputy prime minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Afghan traders in the UAE and urged them to invest in Afghanistan. He also said that the Islamic Emirate has provided many resources for the traders.

But the head of the Afghanistan traders council in the UAE, Obaidullah Sadarkhail, insisted that the current Afghan government provide security for the traders. “We want you to hand over the operation of the Afghanistan airports to the UAE. We 300,000 Afghans are living here,” he said.

The Afghan traders in the UAE also said that they should be provided with visas for their business activities.

Farid Rohani, an Afghan trader in the UAE, said he will invest in the agriculture and energy sector in the country. “The Afghan traders have shown interest in investing in energy and agriculture in Afghanistan. There should be some measures for their security,” he said.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said the surge in investment inside the country would boost economic development. “We call on them to come back and invest here as it is their homeland and country,” said Mohammad Younus Momand, head of the ACCI.

Based on the available numbers, Afghan traders have invested more than $10 billion in the UAE. Farmers in the northern Afghan province of Sar-e-Pul on Monday asked the government to help them find markets to sell their agricultural products.

Currently the farmers sell their products, particularly the onions, for less than the cost of growing the crop. Farmers said this year there has been a significant rise in the onion crop in the province. They also warned they would return to growing poppy if the government does not find markets for their products.

“There is a significant increase in crops, but there is no market, what should we do with all these products,” said one farmer in Sar-e-Pul Gulbuddin. “The Ministry of Agriculture should solve our problems, we do not have storage areas to keep the produce,” said Obaidullah, a resident in Beshka village in Sar-e-Pul. “We travelled to Sar-e-Pul several times, now we are in Kabul and want to assess the problems,” said Ghulam Sakhi Attayee, a member of the Sar-e-Pul farmers union.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock has said that the government will help the farmers. “We are planning the establishment of storage areas in Sar-e-Pul, soon they will be operational,” said Akbar Rustami, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock.

Farmers in Sar-e-Pul are expected to harvest more than 7,000 metric tons of onions this year.

Farmers said that onions from neighboring countries are still flooding into to Afghanistan despite the country’s own sufficient onions.—Tolonews

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