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    Agriculture development project launched in Bamyan

    BAMYAN CITY (PAN): Agricultural cooperatives on Monday distributed tractors in central Bamyan province, marking the launch of a three-year agriculture development project, an official said.

    Estimated to cost $5 to 10 million, the project is funded by the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), in charge of the team, Cecilia, told a news conference.

    She said the project was formally launched with the distribution of 20 tractors to agriculture cooperatives to facilitate farmers. Each tractor costs $8,000.

    Construction of water dams and mechanizing the agriculture sector were part of the project being implemented by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), she added.

    In the second phase, three farmers from each cooperative would be trained on tractor driving skills, she said. "The project is aimed at making farmers self-sufficient in agriculture production during the next three years," explained the PRT official, who promised another 20 tractors for the cooperatives in less than two weeks.  

    Agriculture Director Eng. Mohammad Tahir Atayee said nearly 152 agricultural cooperatives were currently operational in the province. Of them, 28 have previously received tractors from an Afghan NGO, Nava-i-Sulah.