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Afghan farmers enjoy sweet smell of success
30 July 2018 - More than 800 farmers in the Afghanistgan's Nangarhar province (bordering Pakistan) are benefiting from the 'Roses for Nangarhar' project, a joint Afghan-German initiative set up in 2007 to encourage poppy growers to switch to a legal, money-making flower. (more)

Photos - Guns and roses: Afghan farmers enjoy sweet smell of success
29 July 2018 - In Afghanistan's conflict ridden Nangarhar province, poppy growers are finding sweet success in the cultivation of rose petals that are turned into rose water and oils for sale around the world. (more)

Flower power: Afghanistan's poppy farmers harvest success with roses
23 July 2018 - Standing in a field of roses in eastern Afghanistan, former poppy grower Mohammad Din Sapai quickly but carefully plucks the delicate petals that will be turned into rose water and oils for sale around the world. The sweet smelling crop is providing farmers in Nangarhar province with a viable alternative to growing opium poppies. 'I am very happy with this harvest of flowers,' Sapai tells AFP as he stands among hundreds of blooming rose bushes. (more)

Afghanistan farmers enjoy sweet smell of success growing roses (AFP video)
22 July 2018 - Standing in a field of roses in eastern Afghanistan, former poppy grower Mohammad Din Sapai quickly but carefully plucks the delicate petals that will be turned into rose water and oils for sale around the world. The sweet smelling crop is providing farmers in Nangarhar province with a viable alternative to growing opium poppies, the sale of which has fuelled the conflict raging across the country. (more)

Busy bees turn Afghan schoolgirl into an entrepreneur
7 April 2018 - In war-torn Afghanistan, honey is regarded as a traditional cure-all but for one schoolgirl, the sticky commodity has also created sweet opportunities to work and own a business in a country where few women do so. Three years ago, Frozan, now 19-years-old, obtained a small loan, bought two beehives and learned about apiculture from Hand in Hand International, a non-governmental organization that focuses on poverty. (more)

Library on wheels brings joy of books to Afghan kids
16 March 2018 - The children of Kabul love the blue bus -- they rush toward it every time it pulls into their street, eager to come onboard, their young eyes brimming with excitement. It's it's a library on wheels -- the first such enterprise in Afghanistan's war-battered capital. Inside the bus are rows of neatly stacked books for children, hundreds of them in both Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan. The library was the initiative of Freshta Karim; a 25-year-old who recently got her master's degree in public policy from the University of Oxford, England. (more)

Afghan province declared landmine-free after 10-year clearance drive
15 February 2018 - Afghanistan's deadliest province for landmines has been declared free of the explosive devices after a decade-long clearance effort, the demining group HALO Trust said on Thursday (15 February). HALO spokesman Paul McCann said nearly 80 percent of the country's minefields had been cleared in the past three decades. (more)

ADB approves US$45 million grant for Afghanistan's largest solar project
27 November 2017 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$44.76 million grant to support the development of a 20MW solar PV project in Afghanistan. The project in Naghlu, located in the capital Kabul's Surobi district, would generate around 43GWh of electricity per year. Elswhere, construction has already started on a 10MW solar PV project at Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). (more)

Solar power in Afghanistan to get $44.76 million boost
27 November 2017 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $44.76 million grant to finance the construction of a 20-megawatt (MW) on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Afghanistan. The ADB said that Afghanistan's 'renewable energy resource potential' was estimated to be more than 300,000 MW, with more than two-thirds of that potential supply coming from solar. (more)

Afghan women break ground with TV station launch
19 May 2017 - A new TV channel dedicated to women is set to begin broadcasting in Afghanistan, the first of its kind in a country whose media industry, like many areas of society, remains dominated by men. Zan TV ('Women's TV') launches on Sunday with a staff of all female presenters and producers, following a high-profile marketing campaign on billboards in Kabul and on social media. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Afghanistan: 'Transcendental Meditation could be the answer to ending war'
20 June 2017 - War and terrorism in Afghanistan could quickly end if a minimum of 578 of Afghanistan's troops were trained in Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), writes Dr David Leffler in TOLOnews.com. The purpose of this IDT group would be to practise the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced programmes in groups twice a day. Extensive peer-reviewed research and military field-tests worldwide show that proper application of these programmes brings about measurable decreases in crime, terrorism and war and improvements in quality of life, resulting from the reduction of societal stress. (more)

'Military solution improbable in Afghanistan': Invincible Defence Technology addresses root causes of terrorism and war - Pajhwok Afghan News
17 June 2009 - A scientifically verified alternative to military action is available in Afghanistan, say Invincible Defence Technology (IDT) experts Major General (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, Colonel Brian Rees, and David Leffler, PhD. Extensive peer-reviewed published research demonstrates the effectiveness of group practice of the Transcendental Meditation Programme and its advanced techniques for reducing the societal stress that fuels violence, terrorism, and war. (more)


Flops
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Dozens killed in Afghanistan fighting as sectarian threat grows
11 November 2018 - Fifteen Afghan civilians and 10 commandos sent to reinforce Shi'ite militia forces fighting Taliban in the central province of Ghazni were killed on Sunday (11 November), officials said, as a days-long battle with threatening ethnic overtones continued. ... The fighting took place as U.S. special envoy Zakmay Khalilzad prepared for a fresh round of meetings aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to try to find a political settlement to the decades-long war in Afghanistan. (more)

Displaced victims of worst Afghan drought in years fear harsh winter
9 November 2018 - Mahiuddin, a 35 year-old farmer from Badghis, a mountainous province in western Afghanistan, has been living in a camp outside the city of Herat for months, one of tens of thousands displaced by the worst drought the country has seen in years. ... With much of Afghanistan's agricultural land degraded, and many areas lawless after years of war, food insecurity has added to the suffering without generating the same headlines as the fighting. (more)

More Afghans displaced by drought than conflict, U.N. says
11 September 2018 - A total of 275,000 people have been displaced by drought in western Afghanistan -- 52,000 more than the number uprooted by conflict this year -- with over two million threatened by the effects of water shortages, the United Nations said. Afghanistan, a country where nearly 20 million people rely on farming, has suffered a 45 per cent fall in agricultural output this year as the drought has bitten, officials at the ministry of agriculture have said. (more)

Drought threatens millions of Afghans with hunger - U.N.
29 May 2018 - Millions of Afghans face hunger after a drought decimated crops in the war-ravaged country, U.N. officials said on Tuesday (29 May), calling for an extra $115 million to help families buy food. Two thirds of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have been hit by a lack of rain or snowfall since late last year, said a bulletin from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). (more)

Taliban battle into west Afghan city in new crisis for government
15 May 2018 - Taliban fighters with heavy weapons and night-vision equipment fought their way close to the center of the western city of Farah on Tuesday (15 May), as Afghan forces with U.S. air support battled to force them back, officials and residents said. Residents of the city, capital of Farah province on the border with Iran, have warned for months the city was vulnerable and the attack threatened a repeat of the Taliban's capture of the northern city of Kunduz in 2015. (more)

Taliban launch large-scale assault on western Afghan city
15 May 2018 - The Taliban launched attacks from multiple directions on a city in western Afghanistan early Tuesday (15 May) killing and wounding at least six security forces, officials said. Fared Bakhtawer, head of the Farah provincial council, said the insurgents overran several security checkpoints in the provincial capital of the same name and that heavy fighting was underway. He said casualties were high among security forces, but couldn't provide a precise number. 'Security checkpoints around the city have collapsed into the hands of the Taliban, causing high casualties among security forces,' he said. (more)

Dark day for reporters as 9 killed in Afghan bombing
30 April 2018 - Monday (30 April) marked the bloodiest day for journalists in a long time: At least nine were killed and half a dozen wounded in a double suicide bombing in Afghanistan's capital. Almost as alarming as the bloodshed -- at least 25 people were killed overall and dozens wounded -- was the modus operandi. It appeared that the journalists were intentionally targeted by a bomber who hid among members of the media rushing to cover the first explosion. Monday's bombing by the Islamic State group was the deadliest attack targeting reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to Reporters Without Borders, also known by its French acronym RSF. (more)

Twin bombings in Afghanistan kill 25, including 9 reporters
30 April 2018 - Two Islamic State suicide bombers struck in Afghanistan's capital on Monday (30 April), killing 25 people, including nine journalists who had rushed to the scene of the first attack, in the deadliest assault on reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The attack was the latest in a relentless string of large-scale bombings and assaults in the capital and elsewhere in Afghanistan this year. (more)

Emergency alerts loom as drought takes hold in war-torn Afghanistan
23 April 2018 - Afghanistan faces the threat of serious drought this year after recording the lowest snowfall and rain in years over the winter, officials said on Monday (23 April), with at least 20 of 34 provinces already suffering badly. The 20 provinces in the war-torn country saw a 60 percent shortfall in rain and snowfall during the winter season. . . . snowfall in Afghanistan's last winter season was the lowest since 2002. Snowmelt is an important source of water for crops and irrigation in a country where food is scarce for many households. (more)

Sales of Afghanistan's renowned carpets unravel as war intensifies
12 April 2018 - Sales of Afghanistan's ancient carpet-weaving industry have dropped by half in the past year as war with Taliban militants heats up and neighboring Pakistan clamps down on border traffic. Prized by buyers as much for their artistry as utility, carpets are still a chief export of the impoverished nation, but their share has shrunk to six percent from 27 percent within less than a decade. (more)

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