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MAIL strategizes women’s role in agriculture development

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations kicked off a national strategy on women’s contribution in agriculture development.

The strategy was signed by the Ministry of MAIL, Assadullah Zamir, and Tomio Shichiri, representative of FAO in Afghanistan, on Tuesday. Launching of the strategy was aimed at strengthening the role of women in agriculture development and improvement of families’ food security.

The project is funded by the Government of Germany and will be jointly implemented by MAILS’ Home Economy Department and FAO.

Speaking at a press conference, Assadullah Zamir said that it is a five-year strategy which will be implemented in three stages across the country.

He said that the purpose of the strategy is to empower women and improve food security.

“Women account for nearly 40 percent of the agriculture labor force in Afghanistan and the strategy will review the current contribution of women in the sector,” he added.

He stressed that agricultural development can lead to economic growth. He said that women by learning new techniques of farming can play a key role in improving economy of their families.

“In some parts of the country women are engaged in kitchen gardening inside their houses, while in other areas they are even working on farms like men,” he added.

Representative of FAO to Afghanistan, Tomio Shichiri said that the strategy will enable women to take active part in improving economy of their families at household level and improve food security at national level.

“The FAO is interested to support the strategy on women contribution in agriculture development,” he added.

Nahid Farid, a lawmaker from western Herat province, stressed that due to inattention of government for development of rural areas, families usually migrate to urban areas.

She pointed out that women can play an important role in improving economy of their families, if trained in agriculture sector.  She asked the government to recognize the role of women in agriculture and pave the ground for women to work along with women in this sector.

Officials in the ministry of agriculture said, so far the ministry has invested around $18 million to enhance participation of women in the agriculture sector and improve nutrition.

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