Today in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province in northeast Afghanistan, the foundation stone was laid for a new faculty of agriculture. Up to 1200 students are to pursue their studies in agricultural sciences at the faculty. The previous building had become too small to accommodate the large number of students.
Creating income through agriculture will also be a focus of discussions at the London Afghanistan Conference. More than 80% of the Afghan population live in rural areas. That is why agricultural and rural development play a key role in stabilizing the country. Improving the range of produce on offer is also required to avoid food shortages in future, such as those that occurred during the drought of 2008.
Increasing production requires better knowledge about the right seeds, appropriate cultivation methods, soil conditions, irrigation and livestock breeding. These topics are taught to Afghan students at the Taloqan faculty of agriculture.
For the most part, the building will be erected with local construction materials and techniques, and by employing local workers. The building project, which is being managed by the GTZ, is to be completed in 2010. The Federal Foreign Office is providing more than EUR 600,000 for the project from the Stability Pact for Afghanistan. Since 2002, the Federal Government has thus already made available EUR 1.2 billion for civilian reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.
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