Jalalabad (PAN): Almost 90% economy of residents in Nuristan province depends on agriculture, livestock and demining, officials said.
Having the same revenue generation resources, other provinces of the country are developed to great extent but due to negligence on the part of the concerned officials, Nuristan failed to be developed on modern lines.
Agriculture and Livestock:
Mohammad Zahir Bahand, Nuristan governor spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News agriculture and livestock sector could not be developed in the province. He said attention was not given to promote the agriculture sector, adding even NGOs and the concerned government departments did not pay the needed attention. He said provincial authorities were in coordination with central authorities in order to bring development to the province.
Bahand said Nuristan produces fresh fruit such as apple, pears and almond while the mountains of Kamdish and Bargimatal districts have immense dry fruit trees.
Lajmeer, a resident of Bargimatal district told Pajhwok Afghan News that formers were facing challenges because their low per capita income as compared to other provinces.
Bahand went on to say formers need basic assistant such as the exploration of market for their crops and livestock products.
Sahib-u-Din, a resident of Mandwal said: “Our area has enough water but when we need more water to fulfill the growing demand of farmers.”
He demanded the government to build more dams would ensure provision of more water to irrigate vast agricultural land, which would boost the economy of the people.
Inayatullah Mazhabyar, head of Nuristan provincial council told Pajhwok Afghan News the province doesn’t have sales market for its livestock, demanding establishment of proper seed processing centers to multiply their crops. “We need more work to do for the development of agriculture and livestock industry in Nuristan,” he added.
Coming hard down on government, he said that relevant departments should be blamed for keeping the province backward and neglected despite pouring in of foreign financial, technical assistants.
Mazhabyar asserted unemployment and growing insecurity are the main factors halting trade, investment and development of agriculture in the province, adding unemployment ratio in the province reaches to 51%, which is a dangerous development in the long-run.
Trade and Investment:
Owing to its geo-strategic importance and natural beauty, the province offers considerable trade, investment and tourism opportunities. The miserable aspect of the whole state of affair is that the vital Nuristan province experiences growing insecurity and instability.
Shah Walli, a businessman while complaining about the worsening security in the province warned trade and investment could not flourish in the province unless the government takes some sort of tangible steps to reverse the tide of insecurity and lawlessness.
He linked hectic investment and business activities with enhanced peace and stability.
“Growing insurgency hampering our efforts to demine valuable stones,” he remarked.
He complained the government did not provide level playing field for trade and investment in the province, adding that poor security was a main source where armed elements are out to kill or kidnap businessmen for ransom.
“The province has enough room for investment with special reference in demining of minerals and precious stones but challenges hampering its explorations,” he informed.
Another major factor halting trade and investment activities is the absence of electricity and non existence of factories and industrial park.
Governor spokesman admitted the rising unemployment ratio in the province was one of the formidable challenges, adding that efforts are on to improve security situation elsewhere in Nuristan.
He said illegal digging of mines happened due to improper security by the central government.
The people of the province weave capes and blankets but the sector could not be developed as it was expected. Iftikahr who weaves caps of different kind told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We still travel to Kunar province to bring cloth for caps weaving as we were doing in the past so we the industry is not developed.”
Another resident Gul Nabi told Pajhwok Afghan News that people were no more interested to make pots made of clay.
“People are no more interested to buy pots of clay with its users in the cities have disappeared,” he added.
Expressing disappointment, he said potter industry was losing its established ground and its trend was on the go with people lost their interest to buy pots of clay.
He demanded the government to provide peaceful environment for establishment of industry to resolve the unemployment in the province.
“The province is rich in livestock, dairy products, animal herds and other related products, however, absence of relevant markets to promote the products are a constant source of concern for the people,” he added.