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Afghanistan’s President Ghani visits ICARDA at Agriculture Fair for Rural Women

18/01/16

His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, at the Agricultural Fair on the International Day of Rural Women

ICARDA was pleased to welcome His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and his wife Rolla Ghani, who attended an October International Exhibition of Agricultural Products and festivities for the International Day of Rural Women, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

15-17 October are international observances for the United Nations, which include the International Day of Rural Women and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The three days seek to highlight the importance of the role of rural women in food security and ongoing efforts to eliminate extreme poverty. While International Day of Rural Women is celebrated annually across the world, it was the first time it was observed in Afghanistan, with the Ministry devoting three days to an agricultural fair.

President Ghani called, water, land, seeds, agricultural tools and farmer, the five significant elements of agriculture and assured that the Afghan government will continue to invest in organizing and integrating all five elements.

President Ghani said that the Government has decided to give preference to domestic products by 15 percent, and added that the Government will develop a plan based on which the needs of Afghan Security Forces will be increasingly supplied through domestic products on a gradual basis.

With regard to the marketing of domestic agricultural products, President Ghani directed the Ministries of Commerce and Finance to include in Second 100-day Action Plans to identify national challenges in exporting agricultural products and to seek solutions to address them.

Ghani said that getting women involved in farming is one of the major goals of the Government.

He noted that Afghan women play a significant role in production, but do not receive the cash benefits.

ICARDA publications were displayed in three different booths.  One booth displayed dairy products from the Dairy Goat Project, funded by IFAD, including foods made from lentils and mung bean used for fodder. A gender-oriented booth displayed products from women’s groups from ICARDA’s CLAP Project, funded by IFAD, including projects from other implementers.

Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s First Lady Rolla Ghani, Agriculture Minister, Parliamentarians, representatives from the international community, officials from the agriculture sector, university teachers and students, members of the media, and rural/urban men and women visited ICARDA booths over the course of the three days.

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