Three Wageningen UR employees will go on a mission to Afghanistan at the beginning of February to look into how agricultural education there can be revived.
According to the delegation’s leader, Jan Fongers of Wageningen International, agricultural education was well organised in Afghanistan up to 1979, but it collapsed after the Soviet invasion and during the Taliban regime. ‘You can see it in the farmers,’ says Fongers. ‘Afghanistan was traditionally an agriculturally advanced country. Older farmers are still skilled, but the younger ones lack a lot of knowledge.’ He thinks that good education can help to raise the level of agriculture again, which may help make farmers less dependent on poppy growing in the future.
The delegation will visit the agricultural faculty in Kabul, which should become the key establishment for agricultural education. The delegation will also go to Camp Holland to talk with the provincial government and organisations working with farmers in Uruzgan. The mission is being financed from the Dutch government’s fund for reconstruction in Afghanistan.