FAO-Afghanistan: Private seed producers converge in travelling workshop

Kabul, 31 May 2007. The European Union (EU) is providing € 10 million for the development of seed industry in Afghanistan. The project is being implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). It has brought together 15 community-based private enterprises from across Afghanistan in a 6-day travelling work from 15th May 2007 to 20th May 2007, which took participants on a tour of seed activities, growing crops and facilities in Balkh, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

The purpose of the workshop was to enable these new enterprises, which have only been in existence since the last 3 years. The participants travelled in a group and visited each others certified seed farms and observed crop conditions, viewed seed cleaning and storage facilities, examined procedures used in seed testing laboratories, visited variety testing stations as well as breeder and foundation seed farms. This kind of workshop provided an opportunity for on-the-site discussions, exchange of ideas and close interaction with technical experts. Above all, travelling in a group made it possible for the enterprises to become more acquainted with each other and build up relationships and contacts that would be useful for collective action, especially, when they become members of one national seed association in the near future.

The workshop culminated in a seed review meeting in Mazar-i-Sharif on 22nd May 2007, where in a panel discussion, the enterprises were able to further share experiences gained in the workshop with a larger audience of stakeholders and enter into useful and constructive discussions.

The new seed enterprises already demonstrate a capacity to hold the key to Afghanistan's future seed industry. Within three years, these enterprises have become the leading seed suppliers and in the past two seasons have accounted for over 50% of improved seed sold. These achievements have been possible through the generous and strong support of the European Union for seed sector development in the country since 2003.


For more information please contact:

Assadullah Azhari
National Information Officer
FAO Kabul Afghanistan
+ 93 (0) 700 274 515