Afghan Farmers Will Determine Success of Nation's Economy, Security

Posted by Quintin Gray
May 14, 2010
Farmer Thresh Wheat Near Kabul

About the Author: Quintin Gray serves as Senior Agricultural Advisor in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This week, as part of the Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Afghan Minister of Agriculture Mohammad Asif Rahimi met to discuss how agriculture can help Afghanistan achieve a stable and secure future. With 85 percent of the population relying on farms to earn a living, improving the agriculture sector is essential to stabilizing the region.

The U.S. and Afghan governments are working closely together to find new technologies and improve existing crops. Just recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made it possible for Afghan and U.S. researchers to work side-by-side at Purdue University in Indiana to identify a strain of disease-resistant wheat.

Secretary Vilsack and Minister Rahimi underscore these points in a joint op-ed they wrote for USA Today. If you haven't had a chance to read the op-ed, you can find it online here.



New York, USA
May 14, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

2 quick points:

1- Don't mess up Afghan crops with bo-engineered seeds.

2- Deal with the Opium Crop already.


South Korea
May 17, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

When 10,000 lines collapse, thinks effect the outside. Thinks that the women the participation is possible. The work of same condition thinks that provides the right to speak which is equal.

United States
May 17, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

Making Afghanistan the Breadbasket of the World could really help the local economy. I was wondering what they're producing in place of opium and how they'll organize an international market to sell their produce?

Seems like Afghanistan could make a killing undercutting the berry market. Buying a basket of blueberries for $2.00 is better than $6.00. Perhaps, transporting bananas, coffee and papaya to Afghanistan in return for blueberries,strawberries and apricots would be good for both countries.

Rob B.
California, USA
May 24, 2010

Rob B. in California writes:

If so, then we should look back at what government assistance helped American farmers to prosper in the 19th through early 20th centuries and help the Afghans develop those services.


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