Asian Development Bank Provides Additional Financing to Enhance Agricultural Productivity in Afghanistan
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (29 October 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an $18.28 million grant as additional financing for a project that aims to enhance agricultural productivity in northeast Afghanistan.
On October 9, 2020the Aid Memorandum was signed by Mr. Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, the Acting FinanceMinister, and Mr. Narendra Singru ADB Country Director for Afghanistan.
The additional financing for the Panj–Amu River Basin Sector Project will improve access to water and enhance the resilience of watersheds to disaster and climate risks by expanding project activities in the provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, and Takhar. It will also help improve water access and management in six additional provinces: Samangan, Baghlan, Bamyan, Panjshir, Parwan, and Wardak.
The additional financing will support the expansion of forestry and rangeland protection from 10,000 hectares to 27,760 hectares; installation of physical infrastructure and revegetation and reforestation; improvements in water availability to rural households for irrigation and other uses; and preparation of watershed resource management plans.
The Panj–Amu River Basin is a major production center for wheat, rice, vegetables, and fruit. Increasing agricultural productivity in the area is expected to help address food insecurity and increase per capita incomes in rural communities.
Mr. Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, said: The esteemed National Water Regulatory Authority will have provided by the Asian Development Bank willhave positive effects onthe Afghanfarmer’s lifestyleand on theimprovement ofagricultural sectors. "I hope the ADB will continue their support to the agriculture and irrigation sector. And on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, appreciates the Asian Development Bank for providing support to Afghanistan.
“Agriculture remains a major engine of growth for Afghanistan and plays an important role in improving the lives of the Afghan people and will help Afghanistan in its recovery from COVID-19 by improving water availability for irrigated agriculture and creating more employment opportunities for rural communities. Said Mr. Narendra Singru ADB Country Director for Afghanistan”
ADB approved the Panj–Amu River Basin Sector Project in October 2016 with the provision of a $26 million grant and the administration of a $50 million grant from the European Union. The project is helping to rehabilitate and upgrade irrigation infrastructure, including main, secondary, and tertiary canals. It promotes watershed management to protect irrigation schemes from floods and improve water distribution to downstream users, particularly during dry seasons. It also addresses key climate change adaptation needs under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The project provides capacity building support for water users, irrigation associations, and relevant government agencies to operate and maintain irrigation infrastructure. It helps to improve farmers’ knowledge and skills through hands-on training using demonstration plots and community-based natural resource management publications.