On World Food Day, WFP Afghanistan Country Director Mr. Louis Imbleau emphasizes working with partners to support agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ organizations. Photo: WFP/Assadullah Azhari
Today, WFP celebrates World Food Day in Afghanistan along with its sister agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock. This year the emphasis is on supporting agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ organizations.
AFGHANISTAN - The majority of Afghanistan’s population depends on agriculture to support their families. And therefore building up its agriculture sector is key for reducing poverty and feeding food-insecure people.
In Afghanistan, WFP has been working closely with its partners to invest in and boost the production of smallholder farmers while increasing people’s access to nutritious food.
Through its Food for Assets programmes, WFP assists vulnerable Afghans with food rations during the construction and rehabilitation of sustainable community assets – such as irrigation canals, water reservoirs, flood protection walls and roads – mainly aimed at improving agriculture production and efficiency or improving community resilience to shocks.
“In the first half of 2012, WFP and its partners brought food to five million people, suffering from the effects of poverty, natural disasters and displacement,” said WFP Afghanistan Country Director Mr. Louis Imbleau. “WFP remains committed to helping Afghans in need across the country.”
WFP uses its purchasing power to strengthen Afghan businesses by buying locally wherever viable. Since 2011, WFP has purchased some 36,000 metric tonnes of wheat locally in Afghanistan and hopes to procure another 10,000 metric tonnes in the next six months.
Also under P4P, WFP is working to provide equipment, fertilizers and training to some 6,000 soybean farmers in 20 provinces of the country. In addition to this, WFP is supporting businesses in the food processing industry in Afghanistan and planning to link farmers to these companies to help them sell their produce.
Additionally, WFP plans to provide equipment, training, storage facilities and processing tools to five farmers’ organizations in Faryab province, in the North. The aim is to help some 14,500 farmers increase their efficiency in production, as well as provide a market for their products by procuring food locally for WFP’s projects in Afghanistan.
WFP has been working in Afghanistan since 1963 to bring food assistance to vulnerable Afghans and will remain committed to helping them build a future of food security for themselves.