Government to start $5m fisheries projects
Kabul, May 15, 2006 (Pajhwok Afghan News) -The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Livestock is planning to begin fisheries projects in 12 provinces to provide sources of alternative livelihood to poppy growers.
This was announced by engineer Khalilullah Frogh, head of the fisheries branch in the ministry, while addressing a one-day workshop here on Monday. The projects would cost $4.8 million.
The workshop was organised to inform people and create awareness among them about fish farming. Frogh said several donor countries had promised assistance for implementation of the projects.
He said the schemes would be launched in Kunar, Herat, Badakhshan, Kunduz, Baghlan, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Kabul, Ghazni and Nangarhar provinces. This would also prove a source of alternative livelihood for a number of people, who were presently involved in poppy cultivation.
Frogh said fish farming could provide appreciable income to farmers and could prove the best alternative to poppies, which is illegal. According to officials of the agriculture department, there are many fish farms in Kunduz, Bamyan, Nangarhar, Helmand and Balkh provinces.
The ministry is planning to launch fish farming in all provinces and districts in the coming five years to make the country self- sufficient in fish production. Presently, Afghanistan is importing fish from Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Iran.
The workshop was organised by the Rebuilding Agricultural Markets Programme (RAMP) in collaboration with a French NGO. It was attended by agriculturists and fish farmers from Kunduz, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces.