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USAID hosts women’s agricultural credit council

USAID hosts women’s agricultural credit council

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On
Aug 17, 2017 - 12:07

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted the Women’s Agricultural Credit Shura in Mazar-e-Sharif on Wednesday to increase knowledge of the opportunities for women to secure agricultural credit.

Bringing together top microfinance institutions along with financial experts to work with Shura attendees, the event focused on practical training for women to apply for and manage credit, a statement from USAID said.

USAID’s Regional Agricultural Development Program-North (RADP-N), in partnership with Agricultural Credit Enhancement Phase-II project (ACE-II), hosted the shura.

In accessing credit for female farmers and women-owned agriculture-related businesses, challenges have often forced the operations to close because of a lack of understanding how credit works, the USAID said.

Women’s economic rights, the types of credit available -- traditional and Islamic and how credit could help them grow their business or farm --came under discussion.

The participants also worked in group activities, which included discussions about challenges women face in accessing credit and were able to discuss those challenges with women who have had experience with taking loans.

USAID Mission Director Herbie Smith said: “This is a critical program in giving women the financial means to provide for their families, but also gain the educational skills to understand how credit works and why it’s crucial to their success.”

Smith added: “We will continue to support women entrepreneurs in agriculture and provide them with the tools to improve their lives.”

RADP-N is a five-year program focusing on wheat, high-value crops such as grapes and melons, and livestock. It helps producers, associations, traders, and agribusinesses to respond to market demand and help create market links between farmers and businesses that allow the private sector to improve and grow.

The USAID Agricultural Credit Enhancement (ACE) project established and managed the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) until it was transferred to the Afghan government in 2015.

The follow-on project, ACE-II, seeks to build on results achieved by the previous initiative and expand access to agriculture-related credit to increase commercial viability of small and medium-size farms and agribusinesses as a necessary condition for a thriving agricultural economy.

pr/mud

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