IESC Launches $36M Program with Afghan Agriculture Ministry

10-Dec-2010 Categories: Press Releases

IESC Launches Capacity Building and Change Management Program in Afghanistan

IESC has been awarded $36 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement a Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) program in support of the revitalization of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector.  As the lead implementer for the four-year Capacity Building and Change Management Program with the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), IESC heads a strong team comprised of partners the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Land O’Lakes, Institute of International Education (IIE), and International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP).  The IESC team will take a multifaceted approach to modernizing ministry operations, building a capable and effective ministry, and creating a grants management unit to increase the Ministry’s ability to manage international donor funds and assist farmers throughout Afghanistan. 

An estimated 85% of Afghans directly or indirectly derive their income from agriculture and related agribusinesses.  Major efforts to support licit commercial agriculture, however, have been undermined by primitive irrigation systems, little use of modern agricultural technology, and insufficient access to agricultural finance. 

To address these challenges, the Capacity Building and Change Management Program will “connect American know how to Afghan policies and change the life of Afghan farmers and their families," as Afghan Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi stated.  This initiative highlights the United States’ commitment to supporting both the government and people of Afghanistan and will work in partnership with Afghan leadership toward greater economic prosperity.