One of the most difficult challenges for women farmers and agriculture-related business owners in Afghanistan is the access to credit for their agriculture operations, and understanding how credit works for them. However, help is on the way.
USAID’s Agricultural Credit Enhancement Phase-II project (ACE-II) hosted the first Women’s Agricultural Credit Shura in Kabul to raise women’s awareness in agricultural credit. This gathering focused on practical training of women to apply for and to manage credit. The event brought together a number of top micro-finance institutions in Afghanistan along with other financial experts to work with Shura attendees. The event is the first of a series of Shuras planned throughout the country. Participants were briefed on women’s economic rights, the types of credit available – traditional and Islamic, and how credit could help them grow their business or farm. In groups, women engaged in discussions about challenges women face in access credit and were able to discuss those challenges with women who have had experience with taking loans. “Events like this Shura are great examples of several USAID projects coming together with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to support ACE-II on this important effort to empower women in agriculture,” said USAID-Afghanistan. Increasing agricultural output remains critical to the health of the entire Afghan economy and access to credit is a key component of achieving that growth.