On June 20, 2013 the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), celebrated the grand opening of its Provincial office in Bamyan. While since 2011 the ADF kept a small office within the Provincial Delegation of MAIL to serve a small number of clients, the increase in the number of loans provided in the province required of a stronger presence. Therefore the event celebrated two main milestones:
- The formal opening of the Provincial Office of the ADF, in partnership with OXUS, which will allow thousands of farmers from Bamyan province to access credit, both at wholesale level from the ADF and at retail level from OXUS
- Recognition of outstanding ADF clients; those cooperatives that have complied with their commitment to pay their loans on time during the 2012-2013 season
Bamyan agricultural cooperatives now received ADF loans for the third year. The first one was in the spring of 2011 in which 438 potato growers members of 7 cooperatives were provided with loans for seed and fertilizer; later, in the spring 2012, 700 potato growers members of 27 cooperatives accessed loans for agricultural inputs; and just a few weeks ago 1280 potato growers members of 44 cooperatives from Bamyan province received over AFN 112,000,000 Million in loans.
H.E. Mohammad Asif Mobaligh, Deputy Governor of Bamyan stated: “People are shifting from the classic ways of farming to modern ways, the main product in Bamyan is potatoes, but due to bad roads and lack of storage and agricultural credits they couldn’t sell for a good price. Now we have Ag credit, more than 1,000 potato storage units, and good roads.”
Potato production is a mainstay in Bamyan, however productivity was low due to two fundamental factors: the high price and questionable quality of fertilizers available in the province, and the use of recycled and low quality seed.
To date ADF has approved loans for over US$69million. These loans are directly benefiting some 20,000 farmers in 30 provinces. The work carried out with potato growing cooperatives in Bamyan province is one of several examples of how credit is supporting the growth of agriculture.