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Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries. Many years of war and political instability have left the country in ruins, and dependent on foreign aid. The main source of income in the country is agriculture, and during its good years, Afghanistan produces enough food and food products to provide for the people, as well as to create a surplus for export. The major food crops produced are: corn, rice, barley, wheat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. In Afghanistan, industry is also based on agriculture, and pastoral raw materials. The major industrial crops are: cotton, tobacco, madder, castor beans, and sugar beets. Sheep farming is also extremely valuable. The major sheep product exports are wool, and highly prized Karakul skins. Afghanistan is a land that is rich in natural resources. There are numerous mineral and precious stone deposits, as well as natural gas and yet untapped petroleum stores. Some of these resources have been exploited, while others have remained relatively unexploited.

Other Facts

  • The unit of money in Afghanistan is the Afghani (AFA), divided into 100 puls.
  • The fiscal year is from 21 March—20 March.
  • Export Partners: US, France, India, Pakistan
  • Import Partners: Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Turkmenistan, Kenya, US, Russia
  • Exports: $603 million (2008 est.) [1]
  • Imports: $8.27 billion (2008 est.) [1]
  • Imports - commodities: capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
  • Exports - commodities: opium, fruits and nuts, hand-woven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
  • External debt: $8 billion in bilateral debt, mostly to Russia; Afghanistan has $500 million in debt to Multilateral Development Banks (2004) [1]
  • GDP (purchasing power parity): $23.35 billion (2009 est.) [1]
  • GDP (official exchange rate): $13.32 billion (2009 est.) [1]
  • GDP - real growth rate: 3.4% (2009 est.) [1]
  • GDP - per capita (PPP): $800 (2009 est.) [1]
  • GDP - composition by sector: agriculture - 31%, industry - 26%, services - 43% note: data exclude opium production (2008 est.) [1]
  • Labor force: 15 million (2004 est.) [1]
  • Labor force - by occupation: agriculture (80%), industry (10%), services (10%) - 2004 est. [1]
  • Unemployment rate: 40% (2005 est.) [1]
  • Population below poverty line: 53% (2003) [1]
  • Budget: revenues: $1.1 billion; expenditures: $3.3 billion. [1]
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 26.8% (2008 est.) 13% (2007 est.)  [1]
  • Commercial bank prime lending rate: 14.92% (31 December 2008) [1]
  • Agriculture - products: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins [1]
  • Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; hand-woven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper [1]
  • Electricity: exports 0 kWh (2008 est.), imports 230 million kWh (2007 est.)  [1]
  • Electricity - consumption: 1.01 billion kWh (2007 est.)  [1]

[1] United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -
accessed February 21,  2010

Information & Resources

- by Abdullah Qazi
(This section last updated December 15, 2010)

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