Years of fighting and drought nearly destroyed the art of silk production once common in the villages of Sari Pul in Northern Afghanistan. The supply of silkworm eggs, once supplied by the Department of Agriculture, came to a sudden halt. In addition, the introduction of factory-made synthetic materials replaced the demand for silk products. Many households left Sari Pul for security reasons taking with them the knowledge of traditional silk crafts.
Challenge Most farmers in Afghanistan make little or no income during the winter months. Furthermore, the high start-up costs for cold storage to boost farmer income is not feasible for the average small and medium-scale farmer in Afghanistan. In Herat province, the approximately 1.5 million inhabitants must consume imported fresh fruit and vegetables from Iran or Pakistan at high prices during the winter
Travel over the old 64 km Ghazni to Sharan Road previously was slow, dangerous and unreliable. The new road now serves as an economic corridor for better access between the key cities of Ghazni in Ghazni Province and Sharan in Paktika Province. It facilitates expedient transportation of farm products to market, enhances economic development, and promotes social interaction along the road route.
The completion of the first airstrip in Zabul Province will provide a gateway to further development, economic growth, and communication links for the province. The first flight on the new airstrip from Qalat to Kabul was “PRT Air”, an air charter serving a broad range of organizations working on development issues in Afghanistan. PRT Air will continue to have scheduled flights twice a week.
Zabul Province is exceptionally poor, rural, and illiterate with a challenging topography of mountains to the north and remote villages speckled across a dry, arid landscape. Although there are clinics or hospitals in eight of the 11 districts, access to quality health services remains a great challenge for the majority of the province.
Last updated: December 30, 2014