Innovation and capacity building to support Afghanistan’s rural development: Input to the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework
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Afghanistan-ICARDA programs have field tested a range of rural development approaches and practices. Many of these are ripe for scaling-up at national level and can contribute to the EU-Afghanistan National Priority Programs (NPP) 2017-2021. The rural development plans of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have been supported by ICARDA – the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas – since 2002, in areas including: provision of seeds and new crop varieties, improving management of land and water, introducing new agricultural production technologies and farming practices, and enterprise building for rural communities, with a special focus on women’s empowerment. These programs have helped develop the national agriculture sector – particularly in a number of remote areas – and the rebuilding the agricultural genetic diversity that was lost during the country’s conflict years. Development and research programs over the past two decades were funded by the European Union, Australia, USAID, IFAD, OFID, JICA (Japan), UKAID, The Netherlands, IDRC (Canada) and FAO.