Feature: Fair held in Kabul to find markets for local agricultural products

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KABUL, March 25 (Xinhua) — “I am hopeful that the fair could help find market for the agricultural and dairy products at home and abroad,” Ministry for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock spokesman Akbar Rustami said.

The agro-industrial fair held in northern Kabul lasted four days from Monday. A total of 300 domestic businesses participated in the fair, displaying their products at hundreds of stalls.

“More than 100,000 people visited the fair over the past four days,” Rustami told Xinhua joyfully.

Agriculture is the major pillar of Afghanistan’s economy. The livelihood of about 80 percent of the war-torn country’s population are dependent on agriculture, according to officials.

Rustami expressed concerns that some provinces of Afghanistan facing drought this year would affect the agriculture sector.

Nevertheless, the official was hopeful that the vineyards, horticulture and gardening sector could run well as the government would do its best to support fruit and vegetable products in the country.

Every year, the Afghan government organizes the agro-industrial fair in the capital Kabul and other cities in efforts to boost agricultural production and trade.

Hailing the government for holding agricultural fairs, a woman called Zarifa Rezai said visiting the agricultural fair in past years had inspired her to establish her own business so that she could stand on her own feet.

“I established a small plant with a small sum of money one and half year ago to produce pickle, tomato sauce and fruit jam and nowadays I’m satisfied with the outcome,” Rezai said happily.

Sitting in her stall at the fair waiting for clients, Rezai, 26, said, “I started my business with a small amount of Afghan currency afghani but currently I have 32,000 U.S. dollars, and seven women are working in my factory.”

She noted that all the women were happy with their income from working in her factory.

In the meantime, the female entrepreneur said she believed that holding agricultural fairs, in addition to finding markets for local products, also inspires ambitious people to invest in and bolster the related local industries.

“I started my business as a bee keeper 10 years ago and have developed my business gradually and collect 5 tons of honey annually,” said honey seller at the Kabul fair Sayed Ahmad Hussain.

Hussain voiced satisfaction with his income, and was proud to say that he has provided job opportunities for scores of people including some 50 women in the central Bamyan province. Enditem

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