Horticulture offers hope for growth and jobs in rural Afghanistan

Afghanistan is struggling with unemployment and poor economic performance because afg-nhlp-lagman-sep19of drastic reductions in foreign aid and continued social instability. While efforts have been made to improve the private sector, including several sectors like mining and manufacturing, the gains have been modest as Afghanistan remains beset by conflict and instability.

Yet investments in agriculture, particularly horticulture, have produced tangible returns as unique weather conditions are favorable to growing produce that are in-demand in local and regional markets.

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Afghanistan – The Canal that Brought a Neighborhood Back to Life

This article was originally published on the World Bank website.

  • The rebuilding of a canal has brought life back to a rural neighborhood in Balkh Province, reviving arable land as well as allowing residents to supplement their income by growing their own vegetables.
  • The reconstruction sub-project was made possible through the National Solidarity Program, the government’s flagship program for rural development.
  • The National Solidarity Program is implemented by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and receives funding from a number of donors, including the World Bank and the (Dutch-funded) Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).

Jamshid and Basit are happily enjoying themselves around in and around the canal. “Now that the canal is paved, we can easily fill our buckets and carry the water home.”