Kabul, Afghanistan - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), launched the Promoting Value Chains-West project on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The project promotes inclusive growth and job creation in the agricultural sector by strengthening the capabilities of producers and private enterprises to effectively link Afghan farmers to domestic and international markets.
Improving agricultural value chains provides great potential for economic growth. This three-year project will support sustainable agribusiness and livestock development by increasing wheat productivity, improving production and profitability of high value crops, enhancing technology utilization in the livestock industry, and building the institutional capacity of provincial and district government agencies. FAO will implement the project in partnership with the Afghan Provincial Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in the Provinces of Badghis, Farah, Herat, and Nimroz.
"Promoting Value Chains-West fits perfectly into USAID's agriculture strategy. We are working with private sector partners, such as processors and traders, to ensure that more Afghan farmers can sell their products for good prices, feed their families, and educate their children," said USAID Afghanistan Mission Director Herbie Smith.
Project beneficiaries will include small and medium enterprises (SMEs), input suppliers, private service providers, traders, millers and processors, and producer groups. Promoting Value Chains-West will ultimately benefit a total of 39,900 small farm owners from 5,700 enterprise households.
"Sustainably improving Afghan lives through agriculture and food security is the main thrust of our work, and we are very happy to partner with USAID for this new project on value chains development in the Western region," said Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative in Afghanistan.
With almost $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country's private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.