MAIMANA (PAN): The economy of Faryab people mainly depends on agriculture, livestock and carpets’ weaving industry and the people seek government cooperation to develop the vital sectors.  
The people of Faryab still face formidable challenges in different areas. The province shares border with Turkmenistan.
The Aqinah Port located on border with Turkmenistan in Andkhoi district started import and export activities such as crude oil, automobile spare parts and iron from central Asian States, UAE, Iran, China. Handicraft such as carpets, rugs, and dry fruit are being exported through the same port.
Provincial officials of the agriculture department said around 85% people of the province were associated with the occupation of cultivation, orchards and livestock.
Asadullah Bahar, head of agriculture department said the province had 200,000 hectares rain-fed and 180,000 hectares irrigated land, adding his department distributed refined seeds including 387 metric tons of wheat seeds and fertilizers among farmers each year.
During the past decade, the Faryab agriculture sector witnessed immense progress, he noted.
Bahar said natural disasters, drought and shortage of irrigation water caused decrease in crops production.
Head of provincial agriculture department said the province was in dire need of water reservoirs, water management and awareness among farmers to use the irrigation water in a proper way.
The agriculture sector had been developed after introduction of advance agro related machinery in the province, he observed.
The introduction of advanced agriculture machinery had helped 15,000 acres land covered by orchards in the province.
Pears, apple, peach and grapes are among the most produced fruits of the province, which are being exported to other provinces of the country.
Authorities distributed latest agriculture equipment and saplings among orchard farmers in a move to multiply their crops’ production.
The farmers lauded the bumper production of orchards by saying that growing orchards farms in the province have entered into competition globally in terms of fruits production.
The provincial agriculture head said fruits of Faryab such as apple, peach and pears had defeated Chinese and Uzbeks fruits in the market.
The apples produce and grow in Qaisar district of the province have ordinary taste and flavor as the district had suitable weather condition for growing apples.
Alhaj Mohammad Ibrihim, an orchard farmer in Qaisar district informed his 400 peach trees produced bumper crops last year.
He said the prices of seven kilogram peach stood at 700 afghanis while that of apple at 450 afghanis, adding that the prices of the same quantity further went up, which benefitted the farms’ community.
Alhaj Ibrahim said that each tree of the peach produce 70 kilogram peach which reasonable quantity.
Habibullah, a fruit vendor Maimana city said after the arrival of Qaisar peach to the market, the value of other fruits declined.
MullaWais, an orchard owner expressed satisfaction from his revenue generated from his fruits annually.
He underlined the need that the agriculture department should extend all out cooperation to the farmers so that they could be able to know the use of advanced technology to further boost their fruit production in the province.
Trade and Investment:
Engineer Hafeez, provincial head of economic department noted economically people were not sound and they were depending on agriculture and livestock to feed their families.
Investment did not take place in the province, which sparked unemployment among the youth force who travelled to neighboring countries for work, he added.
He said carpet industry was among the major handmade product of the province; however, the nonexistence of suitable market discouraged its business.
Hayatullah, head of Faryab Chamber of Commerce said lack of investment caused weak economic growth in the province.
He went on to say few factories were established in the 2008 and 2009; however, it was almost impossible to import raw materials, which prompted the factories to collapse.
Azim Misgar, Andkho district head of Chamber of Commerce said as many as 400 tons of goods were either exported or imported through Aqinah Port last year and the current saw the activities at the port reached to thousand tons.
He said businessmen were facing multiple problems due to dilapidated condition of roads from Aqinah Port to Andkho district, although, 36 kilometres road had now asphalted.
The project worth $22 million was implemented by the Ministry of Public Work with the financial assistance extended by the Islamic Development Bank, he added.
The Aqinah Port is located 160 kilometres away from Maimana city, the provincial capital of Faryab province.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industries decided to develop an industrial park near the port, which would include factories, parking, residencies, roads electricity and other infrastructure.
It was announced during the visit of Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, minister of Trade and Industries to Andkhoi district and Aqinah Port.
The ministry assured the business community of all out cooperation in order to develop trade and commerce in the country.
The flourishing carpets weaving activities have been gaining momentum in Ankhoi, Qurmaqul, Qurghn and Khancharbagh districts of the province.
The residents of other districts, mainly women are associated with the occupation of weaving carpets.
Sharifa Azimi, head of women affairs said women did not have a single platform though which they could strengthen the vital industry to increase the handicrafts.
She said shops of handicrafts were existed in Maimana city and eight other districts of the province, which were carrying out the carpets selling and buying business.
She said as many as 20,000 women had been provided with vocational training annually in order to boost their skills.
Women are keen to get vocational training in different profession such as weaving carpets, embroidery and designing, she added.
She underlined the need to explore markets for handicraft of women and proper facilities to promote the carpet industry.
She said that locally made carpets could easily compete the Turkish and Iranian carpets, stressing that cooperation of the government was direly needed to further revitalize the industry.