March 16, 2012
The Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock this week launched a dynamic database that will inform farmers and businesses of the latest prices, news, and trends in Afghan agriculture.
The new Knowledge Management Facility will integrate and archive agricultural data in a single repository, consolidate existing data into more reliable, understandable, and useful products, and disseminate agriculture-related information.
The facility—named “PAYWAND” after the Dari word for “connection” and, in agriculture, “grafting”—will be based within the ministry. Among PAYWAND’s data offerings: historical price data from different commodities and markets within and outside Afghanistan, trade flows of agricultural products, and reports about agriculture markets generated by a variety of sources. PAYWAND can be accessed at http://paywand.mail.gov.af as is available in Dari, Pashto, and English.
PAYWAND will also capitalize on data generated by several development projects, ensuring the sustainability of the database and, most importantly, transforming data into information products targeted to different audiences to help ensure sound agribusiness decisions.
The database was established by the ministry in collaboration with the Afghanistan Agricultural Credit Enhancement (ACE) Program that is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
ACE, a five-year project being implemented by DAI, facilitates access to credit for commercial farmers and related businesses through local financial institutions and industry organizations. ACE and the ministry collaboratively manage a $100 million USAID grant and provide technical assistance in accountable agricultural lending for both lenders and borrowers. Experts in agriculture, irrigation, and livestock from the ministry and DAI also provide strategic technical support to farmers and other businesses connected to agriculture.
Halim Halabi has worked for DAI on various economic development programs in Palestine since 1994. He has an extensive background in improving the operating environment for West Bank and Gaza firms by strengthening the capacity of key private sector institutions, improving firm-level access to business services and supporting the growth of competitive industry clusters. He has also designed and managed private enterprise development funds.Read More