A rural farmer is harvesting wheat at the outskirts of Bamyan city. @ UNDP / Farhad Zalmai / 2018

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan is committed to supporting the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) in the fight against corruption and efforts towards improving and increasing agricultural production.

Abdullah Al Dardari, the new Resident Representative for UNDP Afghanistan, in a meeting with Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Agriculture, said that agricultural development and economic empowerment are the main focus areas of the Sustainable Development Goals, and that UNDP is building an SDG platform to run a simulation of how agricultural issues impact other sectors.

“UNDP will be continuing its cooperation in the areas of fundraising, capacity development, and technical support to MAIL in order to improve the agricultural sector and the economic situation of the people of Afghanistan,” said Mr. Dardari.

Minister Durrani underlined that fighting corruption was key to increasing agricultural production in the country.

A rural farmer is harvesting wheat at the outskirts of Bamyan city. @ UNDP / Farhad Zalmai / 2018

Mr. Dardari responded that UNDP programmes tackling anti-corruption have the technical expertise that can support MAIL to tackle corruption holding back agriculture.

UNDP has been working with MAIL since 2014 to increase agricultural productivity with a focus on climate change adaptation. Two projects, both supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), are underway, undertaking repair of irrigation canals and building rainwater harvesting reservoirs; they also teach farmers to manage pest and use greenhouses. They also talk to community members about climate change and, together, find ways to prepare for it.

As the main development pillar of the United Nations, UNDP has been present in Afghanistan for over 50 years, supporting the people and Government of Afghanistan to build its capacity and its institutions, and move from recovery to development and towards the achievement of SDGs. The Resident Representative is emphatic, however, that UNDP needs to change with the times if it is to provide effective assistance to the country.


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