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Economy of Afghanistan



Afghanistan has always been a traditional economy, based on agriculture and herding. Its mineral wealth has remained unexploited. Exports have been limited to eatables and few handmade articles. Lack of stability has resulted in non-development of transport structure. Here is brief overview of economy of Afghanistan.

Agriculture
Most Afghans depend on agriculture for their livelihood. This despite the fact that only 12% of its land area is available for agriculture. Equipment used is primitive. Peasants are totally dependent on spring rains and winter snows. Use of machines, pesticides or chemical fertilizers is almost non-existent. Cereal production is agricultural mainstay. Fruit and nut exports of Afghanistan are more than $100 million per year.

In the years of civil war, few Afghans started producing opium for some quick bucks. However present regime in the country has adopted anti-narcotics policies and programmes.

Grazing of Cattle
Cattle grazing is an important part of Afghan economy. The Afghans use their meat and fat for food, while wool is utilised for clothing. For a large chunk of Afghan population, cattle grazing is a major source of income.

Mineral Wealth
Afganistan has deposits of coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt and emeralds. Small manufacturers process agricultural products and produce coton and other fabrics, furniture, shoes, fertilizer and soap. However, in totality, mineral wealth in Afghanistan is undeveloped, with the exception of natural gas. Continuous internal strife has resulted in decline of Afghanistan's industry.

Exports & Imports
Main exports of Afghanistan are fruits, nuts, lambskins, gemstones and handwoven carpets. The country imports mainly machinery, manufactured goods, petroleum products and foodstuffs. Civil war has resulted in continuous fall of trade. Traditionally, the country has been trading with India, Pakistan and the United States.

Transport Infrastructure
Almost non-existence of the government in Afghanistan has resulted in poor state of transport infrastructure. However, after the fall of the Taliban, the UN supported government in Kabul has undertaken repair work on the existing roads. The Russians built a road and tunnel under the Salang Pass in 1964, which links northern Afghanistan to southern part.

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