USAID Boosts Afghan Farmers’ Access to Credit

An Afghan farmer visits an agricultural depot by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The U.S. and Afghanistan have signed a USD100 million grant agreement for expanding local farmers' access to financial services. Photo by: USAID

The U.S. and Afghanistan have signed a USD100 million grant agreement aimed at expanding Afghan farmers’ access to financial services.

The grant, dubbed Agricultural Development Fund, will be used to lend money to banks, microfinance institutions, food processors and other financial and non-financial institutions. The loans will be extended to local farmers to facilitate their purchase of seeds, equipment and other materials they need to expand their production.

An USD50 million agricultural credit enhancement program will manage the fund’s lending operation. 

The agreement was signed in a ceremony in Kabul attended by U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, USAID Mission Director Earl Gast, Afghan Minister of Agriculture Asif Rahimi and Afghan Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal.

“The Agricultural Development Fund will not only help the farmers get the money they need for higher production, but will also help these financial and non-financial institutions build their capacity to make these loans efficiently and effectively,” Shah said during the signing ceremony.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.