Secretary Vilsack, Administrator Shah, and Ambassador Holbrooke will brief the press on-the-record, on-camera about U.S. government agriculture sector programs in Afghanistan and their respective, upcoming travel to the region on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 4:15 p.m. in the Carl T. Rowan Press Briefing Room (Room 2209) of the Department of State.
President Obama has identified restoring Afghanistan’s once vibrant agriculture sector as the top U.S. government non-security priority. Agriculture is the main source of income and livelihood for a majority of the population, especially in rural areas. Eighty percent of the people are involved in farming, herding or both, and a strengthened agricultural sector can be an engine for economic growth and improved stability.
The State Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USAID, and several other agencies are working in close coordination under the U.S. Government Agriculture Assistance Strategy for Afghanistan – the framework for advancing this effort.
This event is open to the press.
Press should use the 23rd Street entrance to the State Department and must be processed through security by 4:00 pm.
Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).
PRESS CONTACTS: Office of Press Relations
U.S. Department of State