Representatives from the Afghanistan Ministry of Energy and Water, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Bank Group visited the AIT Consulting office on 14th December 2010 to discuss possible areas of collaboration between AIT and the Ministry of Energy and Water.

The Ministry of Energy and Water, a ministry of the government of Afghanistan, is mandated to develop the country’s water resources. Afghanistan has an agriculture based economy, with approximately 80% of the population either directly or indirectly involved the sector. Because rainfall over most of the country is insufficient to grow even drought resistant crops, irrigation is critical to develop cultivated land.

Whereas the water resources of Afghanistan are characterized by floods and droughts, in an average year there is sufficient precipitation in the form of rainfall and snow to irrigate vast areas. However, without the use of major storage dams, most of the water flows to neighboring countries. The main focus in recent years has been the construction of small, medium and large scale dams to conserve water in order to expand and intensify irrigated agriculture. Furthermore, today many thousands of hectares in the country are being irrigated by traditional systems which are managed, operated and maintained by communities with little or no involvement by the government. Consequently, a considerable opportunity exists to increase agricultural production by constructing major infrastructure works, which are beyond the capacity of the farming communities.

AIT Consulting Project Coordinator T. Aung, Business Development Officer Kate Hovey and Proposal Writer Justin Finch attended the meeting with the Ministry and gave a presentation to introduce AIT Consulting to the visitors. The Deputy Minister expressed interest in working with AIT Consulting and outlined areas of need that could be addressed in the future.