GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The official in southern Ghazni province said that 80% residents depend on the agriculture and livestock, but due to lack of water resources, market and the storage facilities the farmers and landlords face problems.
The trade also has its importance, as the province is located on the route of several provinces, and the business of many provinces including Paktia, Paktika, Zabul and MaidanWardak are carried out in Ghazni province.
Sultan Hussain Abasyar, the director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock department told Pajhwok Afghan News if attention is paid to agriculture and livestock and the need of the water is fulfilled the agriculture economic will flourish.
He said the agriculture and livestock is becoming mechanized and the agriculture development bank will play instrumental role to improve the economy of people.
According to the department over 325 thousand acres land is water irrigated while over 85 thousand acre land is rain fed which produce thousand tons harvest.
The director said that each year thousands of tons of grain (wheat, barley) fruit (grapes, apples, almond and apricot) vegetables (onions, potatoes, leak and pea) are produced, but cannot fulfill the food requirement of the people.
The farmers and landlords also complain that they did not get the necessary assistance and they don’t hope any change in near future that there will be any attention to agriculture sector for development.
Ali Khan, resident of Muqur district said that he has grapes garden and dozens acre of farming land and in last eight years he was provided with assistance only once with a bag of improved seed and fertilizer.
He said the farmers needed infrastructural assistance in which the most important one is the facility of storage and the marketing for products.
Ali Khan wanted to have water dames in each district and have better markets and stores for the fruits.
Farmers in Qarabagh district have similar complains, a tribal elder Haji Abdul Qayum said he has a grape garden, and he is looking after all the farming issues and did not get any assistance from government and NGOs.
He said most of the farming land in Qarabagh are irrigated through Karez water, but the water in Karez are reducing, therefore, small water dames shall be constructed and the farming shall be mechanized, in addition improved seeds and saplings shall be distributed to farmers.
Marketing was also key for the agriculture produces, Haji Abdul Qayum said, the government shall provide opportunity for the sell of the products, in last years the crops were sold in half of the price for the fear of spoiling and were sent to Pakistan “over 70 per cent of our people are involved in farming, so the government shall work more in this regard and provide opportunities for people” He concluded.
In 2010 plans were underway to construct cold storages in some districts and provincial capital, but no action has been taken yet.
Abdul Wali Khanzada, a provincial council member said that there were problems in farming and no action has been taken to address them.
He said there has been no support to farmers and landlords and nothing has been done to store and process the products.
He said insecurity was the main cause of the problem, as the insecurity deteriorated the farming and conditions are not good for businessmen to invest.
He said that over thirty per cent residents are jobless and joblessness is a predisposing factor for insecurity.
Most areas of KhwajaOmari district and the provincial capital are irrigated from Sultan Dam and the Gairo and Andar districts are irrigated from Sardi dame.
Resident of Andar and the provincial council member Amanullahkamrani said that the dames and canals need to be cleaned so the problem or irrigation water can be addressed.
He said that over 35000 acre farming land were being irrigated by the Sardi dame in last thirty years, but the canals have been filled with mud and most of the farming land turned to dried land. The security has been restored in Andar district and the work on the reconstruction can be restarted.
Trade and investment:
The officials of the Chamber and Commerce are dismayed and said that the Ghazni economy did not develop as it was expected.
Abdul MatinQalandari, the head of Chamber and Commerce in Ghazni said that the security was not stable and in last three years, sons of the businessmen were abducted and were released for ransom and some were even killed, which made the investors concerned.
He said the government has never supported investors in Ghazni, and there are better work opportunities in other provinces compare to Ghazni, that is why people are not interested to invest in Ghazni.
He said Ghazni investors usually invest in other provinces or abroad, if the government pay attention to the private sector and provide better conditions, and security improves, then the economy of people will improve and people will have job opportunity.
There are only five factories in Ghazni province and the owners face lack of power which caused them a lot of problems.
Qalandari complained that the government did not pay any attention to investors, businessmen, farmers and there is no plan to design an action plan.
Seven years back a plot was identified for the industrial zone in Ghaznicity, however the land was not distributed to investors and businessmen, while cases were filed over the ownership of the land.
Khairullah has business in UAE said that the life conditions were not good in UAE, let alone investing in the province.
He said two years back he wanted to construct a modern market and a hotel in Ghazni city, but his brother was threatened on the phone and was asked to pay a ransom of $30000.
He added that he paid for those who threatened his brother and his brother returned to UAE, but three years later my brother returned to Ghazni and wanted to go to his village to meet his relatives but on the way armed people abducted him and three days later he was killed by the abductors.
Insecurity is the biggest hurdle to development; however the security officials in Ghazni claimed that the graph of the insecurity and crimes lowered compare to the past.
ZarwarZahid, Ghazni police chief said that the security improved in the provincial capital and districts and the construction work is going on compare to the past.
Handcraft has a history I n Ghazni province and is the part of its culture, however in recent years the handcraft has seen a decline.
rugs, weaving and other products such as clay and the embroidery of women were famous from the past and has national and international popularity.
Noor Agha, 70, who has a shop of clay products said that the industry had values since long back, but now the clay dishes are used less and the market has declined.
He said only flower vase and butter producing dishes have markets and other products did not have any market.
He said about thirty years the handcraft had big popularity, and only in Ghazni province there were over 50 clay shops and over 100 shops of other handcraft products, but now there are only three shops of clay products and two of other handcraft products including parchments.
He said people don’t use handcrafts anymore and they are more interested to purchase foreign products so the buyers decreased.
He asked the government to launch some exhibition in and out of the country for the promotion of handcrafts.
In general farmers, businessmen and handcraft workers want peaceful environment, work facilities and better conditions to expand the business.
The animal products including dairy products, meats and others do not have good market in recent years.
Abdul Khaliq a businessmen of parchment said that the market has declined in last thirty years and the reasons is that people stopped husbandry as they used to do in the past.
He said drought also had its effect on graze land, in the past nomads kept sheep, while the husbandry has reduced.
In addition to the fresh fruit in Ghazni province, dried fruit also have special market.
Haji Hamayoon, a businessmen of fresh and dried fruit said that the products of the dried and fresh fruit depend on the season, if the season was good the market will be good.
He said there was no space for the storage and process of dried fruit and there was no support of government to explore markets for the products.
There are some medicinal plants in Ghazni province which are used locally for the treatment of some disease.
A sikh in Ghazni, KhalisaBashardost said that the medicinal plants were used in some houses and are very popular.
He said the plants decreased but still have markets, in Pakistan, Iran, India and Europe.
By: Abasin Zaheer, Pajhwak
Ghazni (PAN): The education sector moves forward with tandem in the Ghazni province but there are some tangible problems that hampering the development of the much-needed sector.
Offering a detailed picture amid bitter realities, Ihsanullah Nashir, Ghazni education department head told Pajhwok Afghan News that most of the schools are closed down because of non-existence of proper buildings and lack of professional teachers.
“Six years ago, we have 422 schools in the province; however, its strength has now touched the figure of 575. Of them, 244 are High, 147 Middle while 184 are Primary Schools,” he added.
Nashir goes on to say that 2,746 students are getting education in another six Primary Schools in the province, adding that a total of 245,986 students with 45 percent female students are being imparted education by 4,747 teachers in the province.
He said that two seminaries and as many Professional Training Centers and 11 Teacher Training Colleges are also functional. “As many as 470 students are being imparted education in the two seminaries while another 517 are getting their training in Professional Training Centers. He said that 3,000 male students including 284 females are studying in Teacher Training Colleges.
A state-run university offers courses in Sharia Law, Agriculture, Education and Economic faculties where 300 girls are getting higher education among 2, 200 male students.
Separately, 7, 876 males and 4, 971 female students achieve their courses in 780 literacy courses that offering educational activities in the provincial metropolis and 11 districts of the province, he added.
Financially backed by UNESCO, UNICES, and OTTS, most of the students join the educational centers who were earlier deprived of education in the backdrop of multi-dimensional problems over the past few years.
In addition to that, around 460 students are enrolled in a branch of Khatamul Nabeen private University while 121 others are studying in a private Medical University of Omar in the province.
Problems and Developments:
The outspoken director said that 34 schools have been closed leaving 5, 400 students deprived of their education, adding however, around 50 out of 70 closed schools are reopened during the long span of previous five years. He said that the credit for reopening the schools goes to the growing support and cooperation of the people of the area.
The tribal elders play a highly significant role in convincing the Taliban not to create hurdles in the way of education--- the only way out to benefit the entire war- weary Afghan nation, he added.
He is of the opinion that many schools would have been closed down had the Taliban create hurdles in the way of education sector. He admitted that a number of schools of the province in the far-flung areas have been closed following non serious attitude or lack of interest of the people. He said that the locked schools situated elsewhere in Nava, Aab Band, Giro, Zankhan, and Rashidan Districts.
He went on to say that 50% percent schools in Ghazni have no buildings forcing the kids to get education in tents, hired houses, and in the open sky. The schools having no buildings located in Aab Band, Ajristan, Zankhan, and Nava Districts.
Nasir revealed that the Ministry of Education miserably failed to resolve the problems being faced by the education sector despite its earlier promises to resolve the problems of the Ghazni Education Department on priority basis. Going into greater details, he said that last year the ministry pledged to help construct buildings of 90 schools, adding that buildings of a dozen of schools could be built instead.
Another problem of serious nature being faced by the Education Department, he said is the absence of professional teachers. He noted that the ministry helped provided some sort of cooperation, as many as 11 Teacher Training Colleges have been established in the province, which ensure provision of education to 3,000 students.
“I hope that the problems being faced by the Education Department will be tackled in the years to come,” he said, adding that the widely heard complain of lack of textbooks would be resolved on priority basis in the provincial metropolis and rest of the districts of the province.
Separately, Ghazni University Chancellor Abdul Qaidir Khamosh said the authorities left no stone unturned to develop the university, which has now been moved to its building while initially it was functional in a commercial market building.
He went on to say that 12 lecturers are getting higher education with five of them earning their master degrees from Kabul University and six others from Japan, India, Turkey, Swiss, and Iran.
Syed Noor whose two kids study at Shamsul Arifin High School in the sprawling Ghazni city, expressed optimism by saying that some tangible progress has been made to promote the education sector amid bolstered teaching methodology as compared to the past.
“Students can learn much more if you have a satisfactory teaching plan in place in a school,” he said, demanding the authority to take accelerated steps to ensure early hiring of professional teachers and delivery of textbooks to schools on time.
However, some people complain that authorities have its focus to develop the education sector only in the provincial metropolis and some particular districts.
Atta Mohammad, a resident of Giro district says: “We want our kids to be educated but the high ups focus on the progress of education sector in some particular districts and the capital of Ghazni. So far, I have never seen any official from the education department to have ever visited Giro District or met with the people to discuss the education issue with them.”
He complained that thousands of kids have been deprived of education in Giro District, adding that only three schools are functioning among 11 schools, which speak volume of in apathy of the Education Department officials.
He says: “Officials of the Education Department can easily conduct visits of their town in an apparent attempt to construct building of schools as there is no security problem in the area. More and more people are willing to get their kids educated.”
Criticizing the officials of the Education Department, Haji Khudai Dad, a tribal elder from Ander District while expressing concern over the deteriorated condition of education in his area said that “I haven’t seen any panel from Education Department to ever visit our district to know about the state of education.”
He asked how a student could be expected to score high in the examination at a time when his school has no building or facing shortage of textbooks.
Students & Teachers:
Mohammad Aman, a student of Shamir High School in Ghazni city, while complaining regarding the absence of textbooks and lack of dedicated teachers says: “Most of our class time goes wasted and we don’t have the relevant textbooks.” He went on to complain that they have been suffering from that problems almost every year, which costs the students to face multi-faceted problems during the examinations.
Rahmatullah, an 11th class student at the Shahabudding High School said that they got enough textbooks, adding that education activities have been witnessed record growth in his area. He said that during the past few years, many university graduates and Teacher Training Colleges have been recruited in the schools.
Mohammad Hashim, a student of Sanayee High School says: “A student tends to learn nothing from his teacher if the former does not try his level best to learn.”
He went on to say that most of the students do not review their lessons they are taught by their teachers in schools, which prompted their parents to hold the teachers responsible for their kids’ deficiency.
Sharafudin, a teacher at Syed Ahmad Maka High School says: “We have some students in higher classes who neither read nor write correctly because they do not review their lessons at home.”
Abdullah, a teacher at Shamsul Arifin School said that the corruption is at its peak in the Education Department, asking the teachers to come forward to ameliorate things toward betterment. He says: “When a student fails in his weekly, monthly, or annual test then the concerned teacher gets directions from the Education Department to favour the failed student and award him passing marks.”
Sher Jan, a teacher at Sher Khan High School of Qarabagh District said that the district enjoys a level playing field for education as the security problems have now been eliminated.
He went on to say that the saga of professionalism is growing with tandem among teachers as they attend two training workshops annually. He said that every effort has been made to ensure provision of textbooks to schools without any delaying tactics.
Enayatur Rahman Mayar, a lecturer at Education Faculty of Ghani University vehemently leveled charges equally on the concerned authorities and residents of the area for what he said the problems being faced by the vital education sector.
He suggested that residents and tribal elders of the area should come forward to talk to Taliban to convince them to help reopen the schools to resume educational activities in the far-flung areas of the region.
A leading religious scholar Sheikh Haider said that students should focus on the education instead of wasting their precious times.
He says: “I observed many students playing with their cell phones and listening songs with their headphones instead of focusing on their education. It is the responsibility of students’ parents to convince their kids to focus on their education.”
Spokesman of Education Ministry Amanullah Iman admitted that his department faces some sort of challenges and problems in the progress and promotion of education sector. He said that 80% schools have now proper buildings, promising that the building problem of the rest of schools would be resolved within the next two years.
The establishment of Teacher Training Colleges in Ghazni city and six other districts helped in tackling the issue of lack of professionalism among teachers, he said, adding that his ministry is working vigorously to achieve fast-paced progress in education sector.
By: Saifullah Maftoon ,Pajhwak
GHAZNI (PAN): The government has completed hundreds of development projects during the past five years in Ghazni city and southern districts of the province but the 2013 projects have been postponed due to the reasons best known to the concerned authorities.
Ghaznir Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada while talking to Pajhwok Afghan News said that during the last five years around 250 kilometers road have been completed in the provincial capital and in other districts of the province. Multifaceted problems of the people, he said have been resolved following early completion of 100 kilometers road in remote areas and rural parts of the province.
Outlining details of construction-related works being done by his government, he said that the much-needed buildings of as many as 36 schools have been constructed while construction work of the building of 33 other schools are in progress. Similarly, he went on to say that 14 health clinics have been established elsewhere in the province. Of 25 historic monuments scheduled to be built or renovated in 2013, he informed that hectic rehabilitation work on 18 of the monuments is underway with four other projects.
Bismillah Sharifi, head of the information and culture department held out promises that the direly needed construction work on the renovation of rest of the historical sites would be completed within the next three months.
He resolved that a Mega Project--- Islamic Civilization--- “Saqafat-e-Islam” comprising a meeting hall, mosque, underground bazaar and 50 small blocks would be made functional within five months.
Ghulam Sanayee Mayel, director rural rehabilitation and development informed that his department helped built as many as 180 small bridges, 1, 340 meters boundary walls, and another 61 water drilling projects elsewhere in the province. He went on to say that construction work on dozens of projects is underway with accelerated phase, which would be completed in the next three months.
Engineer Karim, in charge of development affairs of Ghazni said that simultaneously a number of small water dams have been built while construction and rehabilitation on some other projects are in progress. With the same breath while outlining details regarding completion or rehabilitation of development projects, Karim said that two water dams have been built in Deh Yak and the third one has been completed in provincial capital. He went on to say that already a water canal for Sardi dam in Ander District has been rehabilitated; adding that construction work on its gates is underway.
However, residents of the area express grave concern by saying that the Ghazni province did not witness any considerable development, urging the authorities to concentrate more on the projects in the far-flung areas of the province.
Abdul Jami Jami, deputy provincial council head admitted that during the past five years, authorities have their focus on the development of provincial metropolis while the people of the remote districts continue to suffer in terms of completion of development projects in their areas.
The main hurdles hampering the completion and implementation of mega development projects and National Solidarity Programme is the absence of security and existence of armed groups, he added. He said that despite multidimensional challenges, the authority has been able to complete the road project linking the provincial capital to rest of the districts with the successful implementation of National Solidarity Programme.
Member of Provincial Council Amanullah Kamrani said though completion of development projects is a bold initiative, adding however, the armed groups in remote areas is a constant source hampering development of the area. He said that projects benefitting the people could not be taken forward as needed by the people in far-flung areas of the province. He said that the public uprising to flush out the armed rebels in Ander District has helped created a favourable environment for initiating development projects in the town, which is a right move toward right direction.
He said that public uprising against the Taliban prompted the authorities to implement the National Solidarity Programme. Karami said that some sort of attention has been given to implement and develop the infrastructure, mega power dams, agriculture projects, and small factories in an apparent attempt to reduce the ratio of unemployment.
He went on to say that work on a number of projects set to be completed in 2013 including an airport, canalization, power projects, and two mega hotels is yet to be started.
“The 2013 has offered an opportunity to mark the year regarding the development of Ghazni as capital of Islamic Civilization of the world, but the concerned quarters miserable failed to pay due attention to the direly needed cause or to allocate enough fund for the project,” he added.
Dr. Ghani Bahaduri, a leading tribal elder and member of the peace panel said that proper attention could not be given to develop the area during the outgoing decade, complaining that development projects are completed in some particular areas.
“If the development projects can be carried out with a proper share from the respective areas then I am sure there will have no insecurity and joblessness in the country. The people direly needed building of power dams and rehabilitation of water reservoirs during the past decade,” he added.
The completion of development projects tends to ensure provision of job opportunities to thousands of people in the area, he said, adding that development and boosting of agriculture sector is among the basic fields to be given attention in greater interests of the people.
The Poland Provincial Reconstruction Team (PPRT) and the American agencies helped financed health care centers and schools, he added. In addition to that the Ghazni municipality, the Ministries of Public Works and Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock helped in completion of some schemes as part of development projects.
By: Abasin Zaheer, Pajhwak
Ghazni is famous for producing grapes, apricots, and Bukhara plums. Sheep and goats are important for farmers, especially in the southern and northern districts. Click here for more