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Mohammad Asif Rahimi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1959. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1981 and completed his post-graduate studies in Management of Development Programs from Nebraska-Omaha University in 1989.
Mr. Rahimi has worked extensively in the area of development and humanitarian relief both in Afghanistan and abroad. For over a decade he worked with CARE-USA as manager of CARE operations in Afghanistan. After he moved to Canada in 2001 Mr. Rahimi joined CARE-Canada as South Asia Regional Manager.
Returning to Afghanistan in early 2005, Mr. Rahimi joined the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) as the head of the National Solidarity Program (NSP), the flagship community development initiative of the Government of Afghanistan. During his tenure he was responsible for the transition of the NSP to Afghan ownership.
In April 2006 Mr. Rahimi assumed the role of Deputy Minister of Programs for MRRD, where he led the ministries national and regional programs, focused on ensuring the social, economic and political well being of rural communities. These national programs targeted rural governance at district and community level, rural access and water and sanitation.
Mr. Rahimi identified two critical gaps in the services delivered to rural communities, power/energy and rural economic growth. To address these gaps he developed the renewable energy program National Energy for Rural Development (ERDA), and the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP). The development of these programs brought the focus of MRRD back to core deliverables.
Mohammad Asif Rahimi was appointed as Afghanistan’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in October 2008. Mr. Rahimi’s portfolio includes agricultural production and productivity, livestock, natural resources and irrigation.
Minister Rahimi has been tasked with re-developing an agricultural sector that has been destroyed through many years of war and natural disasters. However, he recognized that MAIL could not achieve the required results alone and that better coordination amongst rural focused ministries was needed. In August 2009 the development of the Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster was commenced, and then implemented under the cluster leadership of Mr. Rahimi, who remained the cluster leader until the July 2012 Tokyo Conference.
Focused on self-sufficiency, equitable job creation and income generation for Afghanistan’s rural communities, Mr. Rahimi has developed a series of National Priority Programs that address the shortcomings of the agricultural sector. These programs include activities in the area of natural resource management where the greatest damage has occurred.
Minister Rahimi has worked to make the activities of the ministry more transparent, efficient and effective. Investing significantly in institutional reform and capacity building, his plan is to develop a strong cadre of professionals, who deliver critical services to the farmers, while at the same time working to strengthen the private sector.
The reformation of the failing Horticulture and Livestock Program is an example of the outcome of the ministry reforms. This program has now been expanded to national coverage, with current expansion planned from eleven to twenty-three provinces.
Many new programs have been developed under Mr. Rahimi’s leadership, including the Agriculture Support for Peace and Reintegration Program, which not only addresses the core issue of reforestation through the establishment of the Green Core of Afghanistan, but also utilizes the services of reintegrated combatants, ensuring greater acceptance of these people into the community.
Early gaps identified in the development of the agriculture sector included land availability and access to affordable credit. This resulted in the formation of two executive agencies; the Afghanistan Land Authority (ARAZI) and the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF); Minister Rahimi chairs both boards.
Minister Rahimi sits on many committees and boards including:
The Economic Committee, The Joint Coordination and Management Board, The Emergency Response Committee, Nomads (Kuchi) Resettlement Committee, Afghanistan Investment Committee and the New Kabul City Board.
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