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Project Places 14,000 Grain Silos in Afghanistan

UN Project Places 14,000 Metal Grain Silos in Afghan Provinces

New York, May 12 2005 1:00PM

The United Nations agricultural agency is set to oversee the distribution in Afghanistan of around 14,000 grain storage silos – produced by local tinsmiths and technicians – to farmers in nine provinces.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the aim of the project is to help reduce post-harvest losses, improve grain quality, increase the income of farmers by allowing them to sell grain during the off-season when prices are more favourable and enhance household food security.

Some 220 tinsmiths and technicians in the country are currently being trained through the project in an effort to build local capacity and improve the quality of local silo production.

"The small metallic silo has been adopted by many developing countries as appropriate, affordable technology for small- and medium-scale farmers to prevent food losses," said Tim Vaessen, FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordinator.

The locally produced silos, with grain storage capacities ranging from 120 to 1,800 kilograms, will be given to individual farmers, farmers' groups and cooperatives.

The $2.4 million initiative will also rehabilitate or construct 10 community storage warehouses in major grain-producing areas of Afghanistan this year to encourage the re-establishment of local grain markets.

"The silos will have a positive socio-economic impact in the targeted communities. The training in silo production should also create additional opportunities for artisans to make metallic silos for sale to farmers in local markets," Mr. Vaessen said of the German-funded project.


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