Manila, Philippines (BBN) – Afghanistan’s agriculture sector, battered by years of war and drought, is getting support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The ADB is extending a $30 million grant from its Special Funds for the Agriculture Market Infrastructure Project to build facilities and standards in the livestock and horticulture industries.

The Afghan government will make an in-kind contribution of $1 million, an ADB press statement said on Monday.

Agriculture accounts for half of the country’s gross domestic product and is the major source of employment and income for most Afghans. Within the sector, horticulture and livestock industries play a key role.

Prior to the long period of conflict and severe droughts in the last decade, Afghanistan dominated the world’s pistachio market and supplied 20 per cent of the total global market for raisins. But with the destruction of infrastructure and limited access to finance, technical, and market support, agricultural output and quality declined sharply.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-24November08-8:11 PM (BST)