In a ceremony earlier this week, the Balkh Women’s Farms Service Center opened in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Balkh Center was set up through USAID (United States Agency for International Development), an organization responsible for administering civilian aid and dedicated to “extend[ing] a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country.”
The ceremony was attended by members of the Afghan parliament, the Head of Plant Protection of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, and several U.S. officials.
The Balkh Center is one of nearly 20 farm service retail centers created through USAID funding and the second center created to help women farmers in Afghanistan.
The goals of the center, Afghan officials say, is to help provide female farmers with access to high-quality seed, fertilizer, crop protection products, livestock medicine, and machine parts. The center’s focus on women reflects the difficulty that many Afghan women face upon entering the workforce, particularly in traditionally male dominated fields like agriculture.
In a statement at the ceremony, the USAID Field Program Officer stated, “The United States Government is proud to assist dedicated women who are working to support their families, feed their children, and contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of the economy of Afghanistan.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer