Officials from the Ministry of Energy and Water said on Thursday that 22 water canals will be built within the next five years to irrigate agricultural lands in five provinces in the north and northeastern parts of Afghanistan.
The project will cost $76 million USD.
Abdul Basir Azimi, deputy minister of energy and water for administration and finance, said the project will irrigate more than 70,000 hectares of land in Kunduz, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Takhar and Bamiyan provinces and will benefit 500,000 people.
“The construction work on the canals will be conducted by the Ministry of Energy and Water and its social activities will be carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
Meanwhile, economic affairs analysts said the Afghan government should make use of its water resources and build more dams.
“The agriculture sector can create more jobs for the people and I think that investment in this field is strategic and can improve the economy,” said Shabir Bashiri, an analyst.
Official figures show that more than 7.5 million hectares of land is suitable for agriculture of which 30 percent is not used due to lack of water.