President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Saturday that the government is expected to start work on the construction of 21 water dams in the near future amid efforts to boost the agriculture sector of the country which is largely dependent on foreign exports.
Speaking during a gathering focused on agriculture in capital Kabul, President Ghani expressed concerns regarding the balance of imports and exports in the country, saying Afghanistan was once an exporter of wheat but the currently imports millions of tons of wheat on annual basis.
President Ghani further added that the government is focused on expanding the exports of the country in a bid to reduce the imports of products from outside the country, insisting on necessary steps to be taken in order to increase the agricultural productivity.
Emphasizing on a joint cooperation among all ministries to improve the agriculture sector, President Ghani said the sector should be turned into a profession to the Afghans considering that majority of the Afghans involved in the sector on a traditional level.
He also added that the expansion of agriculture sector will help maintain the stability in the country, however he said the government should take necessary steps in order to make better use of the water in agriculture and other sectors.
Since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, the International Community, specifically the United States and India, have played a key role in reconstruction of dams in the country.
The Indian cabinet last year approved the reconstruction and completion of Salma dam at a revised cost of INR 1,775.69 crore which is equivalent to around $268,050,296.
Built on Harirod river, the dam is expected to produce 42 megawatt of electricity and will irrigate around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.