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EU grants over 0.6m euros for Afghan orchards
Kabul, June 5, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): The European Union has awarded a four-year 674,000 euro grant to the Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) for growth of orchards and gardens in four districts of Logar, Paktia and Maidan Wardak provinces.
The project is designed to increase job opportunities, generate rural incomes and farm production through the development of local fruit industry in each of the four districts.
It is expected to regenerate 1,000 hectares of fruit and nut tree orchards in the four clusters, resulting in 20,000 tons of high quality commercial fruit production, says a press release issued here on Tuesday.
Along with a focus on improvement in farming practices, market knowledge and use of modern technology by formers, GPFA would endeavour to connect the production and marketing segments - suppliers, growers, wholesalers and traders - of the horticultural industry.
According to officials, the project will also create a network of 40 private nursery businesses - 10 each in the four target areas - to produce high quality, disease-free planting stock closely tied to domestic and export demand.
Owners of the private orchards will be trained in modern orchard techniques, such as integrated pest management, water management and irrigation, reducing losses during harvest, storage and transportation and effective business planning.
The project will be accomplished in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and other relevant agencies.
The New York-based Global Partnership for Afghanistan began its community-based, environmental and economic development programmes in 2004 to revive the agriculture sector in this war-battered country.