KHOST (PAN): Almost 80% economy of the residents of southeastern Khost Province depends on agriculture and livestock, officials said.
On path of achieving tangible progress, the business and agriculture sectors need more attention to be developed on modern lines.
Dr. Abdul Rahim, director agriculture, irrigation, and livestock told Pajhwok Afghan News that the agro sector has the capacity for further development but the problems including the irrigation water shortage being faced by the farmers need urgent attention to be tackled. 
He went on to say that the agriculture sector witnessed improvement even globally; adding that unflinching support by the Agriculture Development Bank could go a long way to boost economy of the people.
Rahim said that farmers harvest thousands of acres of agriculture crops annually including wheat, corn, barleys, vetch, rice, onion, garlic, potato, and saffron.
In addition, Khost exports thousands tones of dry and fresh fruits annually locally and internationally, offering a better opportunity to the people of the province to generate more and more revenue.
He admitted that the relevant quarters miserably failed to develop the direly needed irrigation system during the last decade. He said that his department has been receiving growers’ complaints of not getting enough support from the government.
Badshah Mir Gurbaz, a resident of Gurbaz District says: “Over the last decade, I am given only one bag of chemical fertilizer and a similar quantity of improved seeds of wheat despite the fact that I have dozens of acres of agriculture land.”
He said that the main demand of the farmers and land owners is that they should be provided with building more water dams to irrigate their land, green houses, and market access for their agriculture products. He said the government should build water dams and green houses throughout the districts of the province.
Expressing same sorts of concerns, a resident of Sabari District said that construction of dams and improving the agriculture sector would diminish problems being faced by the growers.
Syed Wazir, a tribal elder from Sabari District who uses to harvest rice on his land, said that they are yet to get any assistance from the government or donor agencies.
He said vast agricultural land is being irrigated with the help of water canals, adding that the water canals experience water shortage. In the given situation, he suggested the government should build water dams, disbursed improved seeds, and saplings to growers, which would help put the agro sector on modern ways.
Because of absence of market access and green houses, he said that hundreds of tones of fresh fruits and vegetables get wasted or being exported to Pakistan on throw away prices.
Following support by the provincial council, a number of green houses were scheduled to be built in the provincial capital at a cost of $ 2.5 million two years ago, he said, adding the project was postponed due to absence of proper lands.
Provincial Council Head Syed Karim Khaksar admitted that the growers face immense problems, adding that the relevant authorities are unable to take practical measures to resolve the obstacles of the agriculture sector.
Business and Investment:
Khost is among the provinces where business sector witnessed immense improvement and its residents carry out hectic commerce related activities.
Mohammad Esa, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (AIHRC) head in Khost said that more than 200 individuals have invested in various fields in the province.
He said that more residents of the province want to take benefit of the investment opportunities but the development is being hampered because of absence of electricity.
He said that Khost would be made hub of activities and develop on modern levels if electricity is provided to the city. The provincial administration has been playing a highly significant role to motivate investors to ensure provision of power to the city.
Traders hailing from Khost carry out their business activities in gulf countries because of the government inefficiency to provide the needed facilities to the private sector, he added.
He went on to say that 200 acres of land has been allocated for construction of industrial part west of Khost city but the project yet to be started. Many traders of the province have been demanding the Ministry of Energy and Water to extend electricity to the province.
Esmatullah Qalander with his millions of dollars of investment in gulf countries said that excellent opportunities are needed to attract investment and business in Khost, adding however, that absence of electricity hampering investment. He said that security has been recently improved in the province where people take part in business activities.  
Eng. Mirwais Afghan, who is doing oil business in Russia, said that he was ready to invest $8 million to revamp the province.
Khost Governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi held out assurances that authorities would provide all out security for those who are willing to invest in the province. 
Handcraft represents ancient history and custom of Khost Province but business of the art receives setback because of lack of attention by the authorities to develop the industry. Handcraft sellers complain that their products are replaced by the plastic made items being imported from abroad.
Bats-basket, sandals, straw mat, and string are among the handcraft used by residents for different purposes in the province. Gul Marjan, a shopkeeper who deals handcraft business said that despite existence of Women Park and handcraft market, the industry has no good market, linking the move with importing of similar plastic-made goods from abroad.
He said many villagers face major problems, warning if the government fails to promote the industry then the industry would sink further.
Anwar, a resident of Abad Khana area of Sabari District who deals in bats-basket, sandals, straw mat, and string from the grasses, said presently these grasses could not be founded in the province, prompting them to purchase it from shops or from remote mountains.
Ustad Nawab, the commerce and industries department head said they have raised the issue several times with the relevant authorities. He said they are planning to hold an exhibition of handcrafts in the province in an apparent attempt to encourage residents to help develop the industry.
He said that youth would be left jobless if the government fails to support poor families associated with the industry.