11 February 2011


Mechanization to Boost Afghan Food Production

KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 8, 2011) –An Afghan demonstrates the new two-wheel tractors at a mechanization ceremony Sunday. Fifty tractors were sold to farmers of mid-sized Afghan farms at a subsidized cost in an effort to replace oxen and human labor and help farmers plant and harvest multiple crops per year. The program’s end goal is to get 6,000 tractors into the hands of farmers by the end of March. (Photo by U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones/Released)

International Security Assistance Force Headquarters
Story by U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones
ISAF HQ Public Affairs

KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 9, 2011)
– Afghan farmers were tearing up the dirt Sunday as they received the keys to 50 two-wheel tractors.

Afghanistan produces less food than its people need. The 50 tractors are the continuation of an effort to mechanize Afghanistan and increase the productivity of mid-sized farms that grow produce for the Afghan market.

The joint effort between Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock; the U .S. Agency for International Development; and International Relief and Development is working to provide up to 6,000 tractors to Afghan farmers by March.

Many Afghan farmers use oxen and human labor to plow land and plant seed. These tractors will increase efficiency of farms that use them.

“In an hour spent working on the farm you can harvest and plow more land,” said Suzanne Poland, food security team leader, USAID. “There are also seed drills so you can plant faster.”

Only 12 percent of Afghanistan’s land is suitable for growing produce and most mid-sized Afghan farms work small, fragmented, hilly fields where the smaller, two-wheel tractors are more effective than four-wheel tractors...

For more details on this interesting B*N*S*N story, go here.

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