Investing in Agriculture Sector
Historically, Afghanistan enjoyed good reputation in cultivation of high-end horticultural crops such as raisins, pomegranates, pistachios and almonds, and possessed a large international market share. In the 1970s, Afghan-cut flowers graced tables from the Middle East to Europe. From India to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, there is a great demand for Afghan table grapes. Now, it is entering a growing and sustainable international market for its high quality fruits.
About 85% – 90% population in rural areas is engaged in the agriculture sector which plays a vital role in the livelihood of 76% of the total population. It is responsible for about a quarter of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the recent years.
Following almost three decades of conflict, the government, farmers, and relevant stakeholders have worked hard to revitalize the agriculture sector. Rural economic development is among the highest priorities of the Afghan government. This also attracts development funds from a host of international donors. There is high emphasis on investment in agro-business and agro-processing as it has a huge positive impact on production and consumption of domestic products, and overall economic development of Afghanistan.
The current agriculture area of Afghanistan is 9,610 thousand hectares. Investment opportunities in this sector are further divided into sub- categories discussed below:
Horticulture: Horticulture consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and olives.
Afghanistan produces a large amount of fresh and dry fruits, vegetables and nuts which are distributed locally and some globally Afghanistan is also a producer of good quality dry fruits such as raisins, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts.
Grains & Cereals: Wheat and other grains are the main food crops in Afghanistan that are cultivated on irrigated & rain fed land.
However, the domestic production cannot meet the local demand; hence, Afghanistan imports cereals & grains in huge quantities.
Livestock: Livestock is an inseparable part of agriculture sector, which makes up the largest part of Afghanistan’s economy. Currently, there are 5.3 million cattle, 13.5 million sheep, and 11.1 million chickens. Other than domestic stock, Afghanistan imported 10,392 tons of milk powder, 11,747 tons of beef, and 42,300 tons of chicken meat. Afghanistan also exported 3,707 pieces of sheep and 1,907 tons of Kurk wool, which is clear investment opportunity for private sector involved in the leather processing.
Seeds, Pulses, Spices & Medical Herbs: Oil seeds and pulses were cultivated on 154,594 hectres and Afghanistan exported 3,936 tons of these seeds during the same period. The country can produce watermelon seeds, alfalfa and clover seeds, sunflower, sesame, linseed and more. Similarly, 3,836 tons of spices and 11,766 tons of medical herbs are exported annually, while production of saffron, which is considered one of the best qualities in the world, was 3.4 tons with a cultivation area of 811 hectres (4.2 kg production per hectare). Most of the domestic production of Afghanistan is exported to regional and international
Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive, etc.
- Cereals & Grains
Wheat, maize, surgar can, surgar beet, barely, etc.
Dairy, honey, poultry, meat, milk, fish , etc.
- Seeds & Pulses
Sunflower, sesame, linseed, etc.
- Spices & Medical Herbs
Saffron, cumin, anis , etc
Investment Opportunities in the Value Chain of Agriculture Sector
Manufacturing & Processing
- Processing dry fruits & nuts
- Manufacturing of jams, juices, sauces
- Processing/manufacturing of olive oil & olive pickle
- Flour mills & sugar mills
- Production of potato snacks
- Manufacturing of cakes and biscuits
- Producing pasteurized dairy products: milk, curd, yogurt, cheese
- Processing meat
- Processing dry meat
- Extracting and processing oils
- Establishing cold storages
- Production of cashmere and its garments
- Cotton processing and cotton yarn production
- Producing leather
- Fresh and dry fruit boxes/packages
- Jars, lids, and tins
- Glass and plastic bottles
- Plastic wrappers
- Tetra-pack packaging
- Trading & Marketing
- Transport and logistic services
- Market identification services
- Trade partnership building services
- Marketing services
- Branding services