In Afghanistan, the vast majority of the population relies on agriculture for its livelihood. Three decades of war have not changed the central importance of farming in this country, only its difficulty.
在阿富汗,绝大多数人靠农业为生。30年的战争没有改变农耕在这个国家的重要性,改变的只是农耕的难度。

Afghanistan's U.S.-educated Minister of Agriculture is considered one of his country's most innovative and effective administrators. He is working with the United States and international organizations to improve Afghan farming. That effort includes one cooperative program that teaches Afghan students modern agricultural skills.
毕业于内布拉斯加大学奥马哈分校的阿富汗农业部长阿西夫.拉希米被认为是阿富汗最有创造性和最有成效的官员之一。他正在与美国和国际组织合作以改善阿富汗的农业。

In classrooms at Purdue University in Indiana, 12 graduate students in agriculture present their research to Afghanistan's Minister of Agriculture, Asif Rahimi, a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
在印第安纳州普渡大学的教室里,12名农业专业的研究生正在向阿富汗农业部长阿西夫.拉希米展示他们的研究。

The students are part of Purdue's Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). One tells the minister his project on breeding fungus-resistant wheat is already making a difference in Afghanistan.
这些学生是美国国际开发署资助的“推动阿富汗农业联盟”项目的学生。一名学生告诉拉希米,他培育抗霉菌小麦项目已经在阿富汗展现出成果。

The Alliance program began in 2007 and now includes nearly 90 students at Purdue and a few other U.S. and Indian universities with strong agricultural programs. Purdue's assistant director of International Programs, Kevin McNamara, says everyone involved is focused on enhancing Afghanistan's agrarian society.
“推动阿富汗农业联盟”项目始于2007年,现在在普渡大学和其它几个美国和印度大学共有将近90名学生。这些大学都有实力雄厚的农业项目。普渡大学国际项目主任助理凯文.麦克纳马拉说,参与这个项目的每个人都专注于振兴阿富汗农业。

"Agriculture is very, very important. Agriculture there is very different from the U.S. In the U.S., agricultural production is about one percent of the economy," he says. "In Afghanistan, it's about one-third. In the U.S., agricultural production employs about two percent of the population. In Afghanistan, it's about 80 percent."
他说:“农业非常、非常重要。阿富汗的农业和美国非常不同。在美国,农业只占经济的百分之一,而在阿富汗,农业占三分之一。美国只有百分之二的人口从事农业生产,而阿富汗百分之80是农业人口。”

According to McNamara, students in the Alliance program will graduate with skills of great value to Afghanistan's agriculture sector.
据麦克纳马拉介绍,“推动阿富汗农业联盟”项目的学生毕业后,将掌握对阿富汗农业极具价值的技术。

"Right now we now have twelve students at Purdue. Four of them are finishing their masters degree programs, and the rest will finish by next May. But these young Afghan faculty members came to Purdue to get Masters degrees so they can go back and teach in the universities they come from. The primary one is Kabul University, but we're also working with faculty at Herat, Nangahar, Balkh and Kandahar. What we're trying to do is get these bright young people out to international schools so they can develop expertise in their disciplinary area."
他说:“目前普渡有12名学生。其中4名即将完成硕士课程,其余的今年5月毕业。这些年轻的阿富汗教师到普渡大学攻读硕士学位,学成后将回到他们各自的大学里教书。我们所做的就是让这些优秀的年轻人出国留学,培养他们各自所在领域的专业技能。”

Thirty years of war have had a terrible effect on Afghanistan's agricultural infrastructure. Rahimi - who was named Minister of Agriculture in 2008 - says improving that base is essential to bringing peace to his country.
30年的战争给阿富汗的农业基础设施带来严重的后果。2008年被提名出任农业部长的阿西夫.拉希米说,改善阿富汗农业基础设施对阿富汗和平至关重要。拉希米为阿富汗农业现代化制定了长远规划。

"The Afghan government has put significant focus on rebuilding Afghanistan's agriculture, which has during the war been totally destroyed. From 1978 until 2001, every year 3 percent of agricultural production has gone down," says Rahimi. "And because of the drought, half of livestock has perished. So now we are rebuilding. We have some success in both rebuilding Afghanistan's agriculture and rebuilding livestock back."

To continue that success, Rahimi has a long-range modernization plan for his department.

He is relying on a team of young Afghan agricultural officials he has hired. As efforts to redevelop the country continue, many of Afghanistan's best and brightest are recruited by high-paying international organizations. But Rahimi says he manages to hold on to his people with more than good salaries.
他依赖手下一批年轻的阿富汗农业官员。随着阿富汗的重建工作继续展开,很多最优秀的人才被国际组织用高薪挖走。但拉希米表示,除高薪以外,他有办法把他团队里的人才留住。

"Also providing them incentives, training. Capacity, building all these people, providing them opportunities. Also job satisfaction," he says. "So I'm using not only the salary as one factor, but also at the same time creating an environment where people feel they are part of a transformation, the overall ownership of the ministry. That is where all of us work as a very strong team."
他说:“还给他们其它一些奖励,还有培训。让这些人锻炼能力,给他们提供机会。还有工作满意度。我给他们创造一个环境,让他们感到自己是这变革的一部分。我们大家作为一个优秀团队一起工作。”这些在普渡大学求学的年轻人将是振兴阿富汗农业行动的一部分。

Transforming Afghanistan's agriculture is also complicated work, which Rahimi acknowledges will require the help of the international community. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a $38 million grant to assist his ministry with organization and training. But Rahimi says his team will take the lead in this cooperative venture.
拉希米承认,改变阿富汗的农业是一件非常复杂的工作,需要国际社会的帮助。美国农业部最近宣布,提供3800万美元资金,协助阿富汗农业部的组织和培训。不过拉希米表示,他的团队将发挥主导作用。

"Follow our footsteps, because we know Afghanistan best," he says. "And provide us technical assistance that you are good at."
因为他们最了解阿富汗,他们需要的是美国最擅长的技术援助。