Shagai Village, located in a remote district of Paktya Province, has had few development efforts because of the rampant insecurity in the province. Typically, women only leave their homes to gather during weddings and funerals. Social and economic development activities for women are alien in Shagai. Poverty cuts to the bone.
Agriculture is an important sector in Afghanistan that employs most of the Afghan population in rural areas. In addition to other agricultural products, Afghans produce high quality tomatoes that are mostly consumed fresh, or dried for future consumption. There are only a few cold storage facilities that can keep the seasonal product fresh for future consumption.
Afghan white marble, primarily from the Spin Ghar mountain range in Nangarhar Province, is well known internationally as a high-quality stone, but is hard to get to market. New technology is helping. Processed marble production in the eastern region is approximately 720,000 square feet annually, an amount that could dramatically increase with proper management, equipment, and technical skills.
Afghanistan is estimated to be the third largest cashmere producer in the world. Handmade cashmere clothing fetches a high price in international markets, making the luxury product a lucrative opportunity for Afghan women who need jobs that enable them to stay close their families.
The project provided hands-on training for a group of youth who were unemployed and out of school with little hope for their future. All have now been offered full-time employment at the same factory when the apprenticeship period is completed.
Last updated: January 07, 2015