Two projects launched to boost agriculture
The US Agency for International Development and Afghan Agriculture Ministry have launched two projects to boost agriculture in Afghanistan.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Herbie Smith and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) Minister Naseer Durrani launched two new value chain projects to improve Afghanistan’s agricultural sector.
The main objectives of the programs are to drive job creation and increase rural incomes through support to key actors along the livestock and high value crops value chains. These programs will: (1) generate revenue and sustainable jobs; (2) increase the capacity of key value chain businesses; and (3) facilitate the ability of businesses to sell high quality products both domestically and internationally.
In launching the programs, Mission Director Herbie Smith said, “The U.S. government is committed to supporting Afghanistan by promoting market-driven, private sector-led economic growth.”
The two programs announced today, Afghanistan Value Chains – Livestock and Afghanistan Value Chains – High Value Crops, will focus on increasing the productivity and competitiveness of key businesses in the market centers of Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. These businesses, known as ‘anchor firms,’ will receive support to improve their business standards and management in order to meet the quality and quantity demands of domestic and international markets. These firms will, as they progress and expand, drive sustainable increases in employment and incomes both in their own enterprise and their supporting producer networks. Individually, the programs are anticipated to increase productivity in their target value chains by more than 30 percent over the next five years. Together, they will support Afghan enterprises in engaging in $140 million in additional sales, and catalyze an additional $65 million in agricultural investments.
USAID is committed to the economic development of Afghanistan. USAID assistance is designed to create sustainable jobs, alleviate poverty, and help the private sector to increase exports.
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