Presentation during the workshop in Shakardara district
Farmers receive their new tools
When apple and grape growers in the Shakardara district of Kabul province contacted the Provincial Governor, it was to seek help in the fight against a very particular enemy – the seasonal disease that can blight farmers’ lives and livelihoods.
The Provincial Governor did not disappoint. His office dipped into the Performance Based Governance Fund made available by USAID and organized a series of workshops for communities affected by the deadly disease. In Shakardara district, the workshop had roughly 40 farmers exchanging handy tips and hard-won practical know-how on traditional ways to prevent and treat disease. Experts then taught them how to prune, grow plants in a nursery and why it was better to use animal fertilizers instead of chemical. The farmers, who were also given new tools, including shears, saws, rakes, sprayers, shovels and pickaxes, said they found the workshops very useful.
A representative of the governor’s office, Ali Ghulam Sakhi, said the workshops were important to a country like Afghanistan, where “agriculture is the backbone of our social and economic structure”. He said concerted attempts to “improve practices in this area are vital to our future development”.
Experts say that support for agricultural development helps reduce poppy cultivation because farmers realize that fruit and other crops can be high yielding and economically viable too.
Bumper Harvest of Hope for Kabul Farmers