A big thank you to all of you for helping us launch this project in partnership with GlobalGiving at the end of last year. Wow, we couldn’t have done it without your generous support – we surpassed our fundraising challenge of $5,000 and are on our way to meeting our $25,000 goal!
In the past few months, our staff have identified and met with nearly 400 of the women strawberry producers in three districts – Parwan, Kapisa, and Kabul. An additional 100 women are in the process of being identified to participate in this project. We’ve also held the first series of “Producer Orientation” training sessions for 150 of the farmers. These trainings outline the project and its goals, responsibilities of GPFA and the participating producers, and basic technical training on planting and care of the strawberry runners.
Our first cohort of farmers – all 500 of them – will plant their strawberry runners this March to coincide with the spring planting season, and the first harvest will take place in late summer (although strawberries are not at maximum productivity during their first year, there will still be enough to harvest this season). By the following season our farmers will be well on their way to producing an abundance of fresh strawberries for the local market and taking the initial steps toward setting up value-added activities like producing jam and dried strawberries for the international marketplace. The potential is enormous and truly transformative for these women and their families. We look forward to sharing updates and photos from the planting season in our next report later this spring.
Mark your calendars for GlobalGiving’s first Bonus Day of the year on Wednesday, March 13th. All donations will be matched at 30% - there is no better time to give! Did you know that you can also support this project with a monthly recurring donation? You can enroll with a gift of as little as $12 a month! This will purchase more than 1,000 strawberry plants over the course of the year, which is the average amount grown by each farmer. Just $12 a month will truly transform the life of an Afghan woman farmer – we think it is pretty amazing that a small investment can have such a big impact.
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