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sabato, Luglio 13, 2024

Afghanistan: a five-year cooperation project helping small-scale farmers brings fruits

KABUL, NOVEMBER 20 – Five years after being launched, the project to support agriculture and rural development in four districts of the province of Herat – SARD – of the Italian Cooperation (the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, now, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) has achieved its goals. Today, 11,700 farmers have benefited directly from the program, having achieved food self-sufficiency, improved yields, and market access, which overall marks an uplifting from poverty. The indirect effects of the project -among which increased schooling, more effective resource employment, and decreased rural abandonment- have furthermore improved the living conditions of over 70,000 people, the Italian Embassy in Kabul reported on its web page.

The results were achieved through “the distribution of high-yield seeds and fertilizers for wheat -which increased the yields of 6,000 farmers by 80%- the spread of saffron cultivation -responsible for an average income increase of 815%- the creation of centers for the packaging and processing of agricultural and dairy products, the construction of greenhouses for vegetables -which tripled the strawberry harvest in the Gozarah district-and of beehives for apiculture and rehabilitation of orchards,” explains the Embassy.

The project also had important repercussions for the empowerment and financial independence of women, as 50 previously unemployed women from the Karokh district turned into honey producers.

The Embassy post tells the story of Mohammad Dawood, head of a family counting 14 members, whom -before becoming a beneficiary in 2015- had been forced to leave his village in search of more fruitful job opportunities. After receiving 100 kg of saffron bulbs from the project, “I no longer had to leave my village, now my children can go to school, members of my family have a seasonal job and during the harvest period I even need to hire additional female workers”, he is quoted on the mission’s page.

The sense of the project lies also in its self reinforcing nature, thanks to a rotary system where “each beneficiary has committed to supply another farmer in a state of need with what he received from the project”. In one year time, Mohammad Dawood will have grown enough bulbs to be able to provide a farmer in need with 100 kg bulbs of saffron. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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