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Afghanistan : agricultural programmes resume

20-03-1996 News Release 96/11

With the snows melting and spring in the air, the ICRC's agricultural programmes in Afghanistan are beginning to stir. In addition to the existing projects, four nurseries have been set up in districts around Kabul to grow vegetables in greenhouses and distribute the plants to the poorest farmers in the capital's suburbs.

A network of craftsmen specialized in tool-making has been considerably expanded and new workshops have signed production contracts with the ICRC. They will be producing spades, sickles and hoes for the thousands of farmers who are endeavouring to grow crops again in areas devastated by the conflict.

In this country where war has dealt a heavy blow to the environment as well (thus causing a chronic shortage of fruit and firewood) the ICRC has launched a large-scale tree-growing programme under which tens of thousands of trees have been planted in nurseries in the four provinces of Kabul, Parwan, Nangarhar and Ghazni.

In addition, the ICRC and the Afghan Red Crescent are preparing a large-scale campaign to increase awareness of the danger posed by mines. The aim is to help peasants and local leaders to become more effective in facing this constant danger wherever it arises, including regions where there are ICRC agricultural programmes.