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Transforming Lives

Abdul Matin hard at work in his workshop

Abdul Matin is hard at work in his ceramics workshop in Kabul but he regards each turquoise bowl as so much more than a piece of pottery. To Mr Matin, it represents the history and traditions of Afghanistan, more than 400 years of creative skills passed down from generation to generation.

Modern processing machinery has enabled the company to improve food safety, hygiene and the quantity and quality of its products
For years, Dehgan Roz manufactured plain yoghurt using the most basic equipment and production process. Milk from two suppliers was made into yoghurt, which was delivered to small shops in Kabul.
The company was able to raise its game after it procured a loan from the USAID-funded Agricultural Development Fund. It bought modern processing machinery and was able to improve the quantity and quality of its products. And it started to buy milk directly from producers around Kabul. 
Learning how to weave yarn

Like many Afghan refugees who fled Taliban rule in the 1990s, Laila returned from Iran in 2011, glad to be home but worried about the future. The mother of five was unsure how she would keep her family fed. It took two classes in rearing silkworms for Laila to realize that this might be the answer.

Manzoor Ahmad in his apricot orchard in Nangarhar

Until recently, farmers in eastern Afghanistan dreamt of a good harvest but were unable to make it a reality. Their orchards suffered from poor management and irrigation practices, and crucially, the inability to control winter pests. Then USAID started to educate them in February 2012 on the benefits of a pesticide called dormant, or winter, oil.

Nazira, at home in Parwan province

Nazira* cultivates a kitchen garden, selling the vegetables and earning more than she ever made as a seamstress. “I lost my father when I was a child. It’s up to me to support my family and now I can,” she says.


Last updated: June 03, 2015

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