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Saturday, February 18, 2012

FAO to boost Afghanistan's traditional irrigation

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is working towards the boosting of technical support for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan's dilapidated traditional systems.
The organization in a press statement available to NaijaAgroNet, FAO revealed that dilapidated irrigation system is attributable to the decades of war and migration away from rural areas, and has left many farmers without sufficient water for their farmland.
The degraded irrigation system, FAO noted, had also led to the country's Ministry of Energy and Water to place a priority on water resources development within its National Development Strategy.
The UN agency also signed a $27.7 million, about N4.36 billion agreements with the Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water to provide the needed technical assistance.
The agreement further covers expertise and training for implementation of the Irrigation Restoration and Development Project (IRDP).
Information available to NaijaAgroNet indicated that FAO is equally working to use the initiative to help Afghan by training personnel and assisting in the use of modern design and management methods.
“There will also be training for farmers in improved water management practices, and operation and maintenance of irrigation systems,” part of the statement read.
Pasquale Steduto, the Unit Head, Water Development and Management at FAO, affirmed that the irrigation systems has suffered over the past three decades as people moved away from the rural areas and this could not be attributed to lack of investment.
The migration, he said, left the maintenance of the traditional irrigation systems to younger generation.
“So, farmers in rural areas were not able to get enough water to cultivate their fields. As a result, they produced fewer crops," said Pasquale Steduto.
The project is primarily supported by a grant from the World Bank with an additional contribution from the government of Afghanistan.'Yinka Awosanya
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