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Markets - Horticulture Needs Assessment in Afghanistan -ICARDA

Future Harvest Consortium to Rebuild Agriculture in Afghanistan Coordinated by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Aleppo, Syria Sponsored by the United Stated Agency for International Development January 2003 Horticultural crops are an important part of the agricultural sector in Afghanistan. In the late 70s, horticulture accounted for around 40% of the country export earnings, though occupying only some 6% of the total arable land and 12% of the irrigated land. A 1997 FAO Survey indicates that an area of 140,000 ha of orchards, 92,000 ha of vegetables, 112,000 ha of cotton 14 and 5,000 ha of sugar beet were planted in 1976. There is no breakdown of either the orchard crops or the vegetable crops although it is known that horticulture crops consisted of significant areas of grapes, apricots, apples, almonds, walnuts, mulberries and melons. Raisins, dried apricots and almonds numbered among the country’s major exports. Vegetables included large areas of potato, which is a common element in Afghan diets as well as onions, tomatoes and eggplant. While horticulture crops covered only a small part of the total agricultural and irrigated area economically they were very important. They were primarily high value cash crops, which at the same time broadened the nutritional base of the population.

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