The majority of the Afghanistan population lives in rural areas where agriculture is exceptionally vital for livelihoods. Realising and harnessing the potential of agriculture is necessary for improving labour productivity, food security, and women’s lives. It is pertinent to state that the high youth population is contributing to underemployment and unemployment.
The World Bank Afghanistan Review recommended focusing on three agricultural sub-domains for economic viability: horticulture (including nuts, fruit, and vegetables), irrigated wheat, and livestock (including production of eggs, milk, and poultry meat). These recommendations are based on their suitability for intensively irrigated and peri-urban areas. Meanwhile, a recent research highlights irrigation difficulties for price stagnation for fruits and nuts and crop agriculture.
However, currently, market participation is limited and underpaid and unpaid families constitute a large number of the workforce. In a bid to support the Afghan people via agricultural projects to be used in the future for external exports, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to keep up with dampening the war-torn Afghan lands.
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By completing the Pertaka Canal Project on the Helmand River in the Gramsir district, UAE benefits more than 950 families and irrigates 300 farms. This initiative is supporting the Afghan population via agriculture with new opportunities.
Without an ounce of doubt, the project has benefited local farmers, who are now cultivating a variety of crops. Prior to the completion of the project, local farmers had fuel water pumps to pump water from the Helmand River to their farms. Now, they will be able to cut the cost of fuel.
Speaking in open terms, more than 950 Afghan families have benefitted from the project directly, whereas it will help Afghanistan become self-sufficient in food and export a variety of food items to the outer world. UAE has, without fail, been supporting Afghanistan with aid packages and infrastructure development projects to enable the country to stand on its feet – sound and strong.