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IFAD Pledges $58m in Aid to Afghanistan

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KABUL – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would provide $58 million in aid to Afghanistan over the next six years for an agriculture project to improve food security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday. A grant agreement was signed on Tuesday at the IFAD headquarters between Zia Nezam, the Afghanistan ambassador to Italy, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, the IFAD president, a ministry statement said.

Decades of conflicts have left Afghanistan one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 70 percent of its population considered food-insecure, while the country’s economy has recently grown in its trade and construction sectors. The IFAD-supported project aimed to improve agriculture and livestock productivity by building the capacity of community organisations and local government entities, the statement said, adding the aid would ensure small farmers’ better access to markets.

The ministry said the project would be particularly focused on resettled people as well as women-headed households. It also aims at to increase the social and economic status of women by providing leadership and skills training to female producer groups.

The women working in the dairy sector will receive technical assistance such as on the hygiene and care of young animals, as well as business training. Training courses will also be arranged on greenhouse development, vegetable processing, and horticulture and forage production. According to the statement, the projects which will be co-financed by the Afghan Government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, which will benefit more than 169,500 rural households in Kabul, Parwan and Logar provinces. (PAN)

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