Farmers' Day (Mela-e-Dehqaan) celebrated in Badambagh garden in Kabul

 

The Annual Spring Agriculture Exhibition was held in Badambagh, Kabul from 22 to 26 March 2019. The event was inaugurated by H.E. Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), along with other senior officials from the government. It is a place where not only agriculture products and equipment are displayed and traded, but also new ideas and advanced practices exchanged in the field of agriculture, irrigation, high quality seeds production and food preservation.

AD Programme booth at the Ag-fair displaying saffron

As per MAIL data, this year 230 booths were reserved by the ministry's national programmes, UN and other national and international NGOs to showcase their agriculture products. Out of 230 booths, 61 booths were allotted to women entrepreneurs to display their handicraft products. This year the exhibitors had a total sale out of AFN 26 Million (equivalent to USD 347,000) and AFN 78 Million (equivalent to USD 1.04 Million) of contracts were signed. On this occasion, agriculture practitioners and businesspeople gave presentations on how to improve the quality and quantity of the agricultural products and to explore ways to link them both to national/international markets. During this event, 50,000 people visited the exhibition.

 

UNODC under its Alternative Development (AD) Programme funded participation of 10 entrepreneurs from programme target areas. The entrepreneurs displayed saffron, dry and fresh fruits, dairy and poultry products, herbal plant products and organic soap and made a total sale of AFN 345,200 (equivalent to USD 4600). During the event, a UNODC supported female entrepreneur stated "I have had a good experience from the exhibition and learned that customers were more interested in the organic products especially handmade soap. It also provided the opportunity to get in touch with women from handicraft sector to make handmade packing for our products".

This event provided the opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss on how they can carry out AD activities in a well-coordinated and balanced way, in the meantime, was a platform for connecting entrepreneurs and customers.