Kabul, Afghanistan - USAID hosted the National Agriculture Education, Research, Extension and Economic Conference on July 15-17, 2019 to bring together experts to discuss current issues in agricultural education, research and extension. Participants share a common goal of developing solutions that will improve the lives of rural communities, farmers and herders.
The conference endorsed the establishment of a National Agriculture Research and Education Council (NAREC), a platform for policy dialogue and technical cooperation between Afghan ministries and agencies, and development partners. The NAREC will enhance coordination, collaboration and alignment in agricultural education and research. By the end of 2019, a clear roadmap that includes policies and procedures will be developed.
"USAID is enthusiastic about supporting a forum where today's Afghan youth will be part of the discussion to find innovative methods to resolve problems that the country's farmers and herders face," said USAID Mission Director Peter Natiello.
Participants included representatives from government and educational institutions such as the Ministry of Higher Education, Agriculture Faculties, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, the Agriculture Research Institute of Afghanistan, private sector stakeholders, and all donor-funded programs working in the agriculture and education sectors.
In Afghanistan, USAID supports basic science and applied research in agriculture faculties, agriculture and veterinary institutes, and agriculture high schools, by supporting the research of young female and male agriculture students finding solutions to problems that farmers, herders and the private sector face.
USAID's agriculture education project operates throughout the country, with activities in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar universities.
With almost $19 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country's private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.