FAO supports poor Afghan farmers
12 April 2009 - A US$ two million project underway in the north-eastern province of Baghlan is helping poor Afghan farmers become self-sufficient. 6,600 fruit trees such as almond, apricot, peach and plum and four types of saplings of American non-fruit trees have been distributed in over 100 gardens through 22 agricultural cooperatives in Baghlan province. The area covers 110 acres of farming land.
“Baghlan's climate is suitable for plants and trees and we can double the harvest in the province,” said Mohammad Nabi, a member of Baghlan's agricultural cooperative.
The project is being implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with the cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
The main objective of this project is promoting the use of improved plants and trees which are good quality and produce better which the farmers can then sell easily at a good price.
Under the on-going training, farmers are being encouraged to start model gardens, plant trees, graft saplings, take care of nurseries and prune trees. This is all part of FAO’s work in Baghlan province, according to Mohammad Aslam, FAO representative in the north-eastern region.
“I have five acres of farming land and I am very happy that FAO gave us trees and trained us how to plant trees,” said Azizullah, one of the farmers from Gaw Surha village in Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial capital of Baghlan.
Over the next three years this project will see farmers connect to markets.
By Shamsuddin Hamedi