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Germany commits US$ 2 million to help small farmers in Afghanistan boost their income 5 Mar 2008 -- 5 March 2008, Rome - The Government of Germany has committed close to US $ 2 million to promote small enterprise development in Afghanistan’s Northeastern province Baghlan, under an agreement signed today with FAO.

The new funds bring Germany’s extra-budgetary contributions to FAO over the past two years up to more than US$ 20 million, with almost half going to support nutrition, livelihoods and food security activities in Afghanistan.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Afghanistan’s economy with an estimated 76 percent of the population dependant on farming for food and income. For the majority of Afghan people, progress in agriculture is the only hope of breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.
Under the new agreement FAO will help farmers in Baghlan, who often depend on sugar beet production, diversify their activities and generate alternative income. The project will focus on strengthening farmers’ organizations, adding value to their produce and improving access to markets. It promotes the creation of small enterprises for the production of various goods and services and better integration into the value chain.
The project is part of an ongoing umbrella programme of complementary development activities in selected provinces of Afghanistan, funded with more than US$9 million from Germany and promoting food security, nutrition and livelihoods with a strong focus on sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity.

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