Japan provides $8.77m grant to improve agricultural value chain in Herat
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Government of Japan would support farmers and communities to better access markets and enhance the agricultural value chains through its $8.77 million grant in western Heart province, a joint media release from the Japanese embassy said on Monday.
The signing ceremony in Kabul today marked the commencement of the Project which could benefit more than 300,000 Afghan people.
The Exchange of Notes and the project document titled “Project for Improvement of Agricultural Value Chain in Herat” were signed at the Embassy of Japan in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by Mr. Kenji Enoshita, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of Embassy of Japan to Afghanistan and Dr. Mohammad Haider Reza, Director a.i. United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Afghanistan Operational Hub.
UNOPS would implement the Project in close collaboration with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Economy, Office of the Governor of Herat, Herat Economy Department and PDC Secretariat, and in partnership with the Government of Japan.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Government of Afghanistan, including: H.E. Mohammad Ismail Rahimi, Deputy Minister of Economy; Mr. Naeem Bahir, Director for Administration and Finance from the Office of the Governor of Herat, and Mr. Rahnaward, Director of Economy Department and PDC Secretariat.
Dr. Mohammad Haider Reza, UNOPS Afghanistan Director a.i. said: “This project is very important for farmers and the people of Herat and for Afghanistan economy and its people as a whole. The project will enable the farmers to have easy access to markets and to store their products according to accepted standards until they find their ways to other parts of the country. UNOPS is pleased to work closely with the Ministry of Economy and the Government of Japan on this innovative and critical development partnership.”
While H.E. Deputy Minister of Economy stated that: “The Ministry of Economy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan wishes to acknowledge the initiation of a project to support economic and agricultural development in Herat. In partnership with the Japanese Government, the project aims to enhance agricultural based livelihoods through strengthening agricultural value chains. The rehabilitation of roads, markets and export centered infrastructure will boost Herat’s profile as a major contributor to the western regions’ domestic produce and export output. The project is a multi-stakeholder engagement involving Government, Office of the Governor, Key Provincial line departments, the Government of Japan and UNOPS.”
Charge d’Affaires ad interim of Embassy of Japan to Afghanistan, Mr. Kenji Enoshita, said that by finding new markets for the agricultural products of this country, they could not only feed the local population but also bring wealth to the entire Afghan nation as well as to the villages where they were produced.
Fortunately, Afghanistan was very rich in horticulture products, such as almonds, pomegranates, pistachios, raisins, apricots and saffron, to name just a few. Afghanistan could promote its high-quality agricultural products to the world by improving or formulating the agricultural value chain, just as it was done before the wars.
Due for completion in March 2019, two of the city’s largest produce markets in Herat will be rehabilitated, in addition to the construction of a cool storage facility, agricultural exhibition and training facility, community bazaar in Injil District of Herat. In addition, two important access roads, totaling 6.5KM will be converted to asphalt to improve access to key markets and reduce congestion.
Once completed, it is being expected that local producers/farmers’ income would be increased and approximately 360,000 road users to have better access to the markets and the city.
In addition to the rehabilitation and construction of the facilities in Herat, the $8.77 million project would also fund a capacity building training for 300 farmers and government officials in Herat in order to enhance their capacity to maintain the facilities afterwards.
Japan has been assisting Afghanistan's nation-building efforts in various fields including security, education, health, culture, humanitarian assistance, agriculture, infrastructure and capacity development amounting to $6.2 billion.
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