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Agriculture

In Kabul Province, Said Agha checks on his soon to be harvested crop. His income has increased by 50 percent for the vines he ha
USAID/Afghanistan
In Kabul Province, Said Agha checks on his soon to be harvested crop. His income has increased by 50 percent for the vines he has trellised.

BACKGROUND

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood and subsistence for roughly 75 percent of the Afghan population, and a crucial component to enhance food security and drive economic growth for the entire country.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Agriculture Snapshots:

  • Established more than 446 veterinary field units
  • Administered 26 million vaccinations to livestock
  • Trained more than 636,000 men and women in improved farm and business skills in 2013
  • Established a $100 million Agricultural Development Fund to provide loans to Afghan farmers
  • Brought 317,077 hectares of alternative crops under cultivation.
  • Established 18 farm service centers that provide access to high quality materials, and serve as centers for access to market and technical information.
  • Facilitated $268,275,909 in increased sales of legal farm and non-farm products 

U.S. assistance in Afghanistan to the agricultural sector focuses on helping to create both farm and non-farm jobs, increasing incomes, and strengthening Afghans’ confidence in their own government. USAID programs improve productivity, regenerate agribusiness, rehabilitate watersheds and irrigation infrastructure, and increase the capacity of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to deliver services effectively.  By working with farmers and agricultural businesses on the continuum from “farm to fork” or agricultural value chains, USAID assists them to overcome obstacles hindering production, processing, or marketing and sales of agricultural products. By intervening in critical bottlenecks – like providing assistance in improving packaging or helping to connect farmers to markets – we are helping Afghans achieve significant impacts on agricultural yields, incomes, and jobs.

RESTORING AFGHAN AGRICULTURE’S HISTORICAL STRENGTHS

Prior to decades of conflict, Afghanistan had an excellent global reputation for its almonds, pomegranates, pistachios, raisins, and apricots. With USAID assistance, high-value fruit and nut production has rebounded since 2002 and markets in India, Dubai, and elsewhere are being reestablished.

In the past three years USAID investments in the agricultural sector have helped create an estimated 174,000 new agricultural employment opportunities, and improved the access of Afghan farmers to technologies and financial services.  Working together with USDA, USAID has distributed input vouchers for seed, fertilizer, tools and technology to approximately one million farmers, established more than 400 veterinary field units that provide vaccinations and treatment for livestock, and brought approximately 1.4 million acres under improved natural resource management practices in 1,628 communities. 

 

Going forward into transition, U.S. assistance to Afghanistan’s agricultural sector will move from stabilization efforts to a more impactful development approach in the programming of projects. Projects will center on food security, agricultural productivity, market and value chains linkage, local capacity building of government services in the agriculture sector, gender and cross cutting issues, and water and watershed management. USAID will direct a greater engagement with MAIL to ensure buy-in for on-budget activities.

RESULTS 2009 TO 2013

  • Distributed seeds, tools, and other agricultural inputs to over one million farmers, established more than 446 veterinary field units and administered over 26 million vaccinations,
  • Established a $100 million Agricultural Development Fund to provide loans to Afghan farmers and on-lending organizations. $37m dispersed to date benefiting 22,000 farmers.
  • Facilitated $290 million in increased sales of licit farm and non-farm products in assisted areas.
  • Brought 2.7 million hectares under improved natural resource management in areas where the ecosystem is particularly fragile. Created 193,644 full-time equivalent jobs through alternative livelihood activities. Brought 317,077 hectares of alternative crops under cultivation.
  • Facilitated exports of 12,000 metric tons of fresh fruit in refrigerated containers; exported pomegranates and raisins to Canada, UAE, Germany, UK, Holland, India, and Tajikistan; and exported onions to Pakistan.
  • Planted 9,000,000 saplings and grape vines on 6000 hectares
  • Established 18 Farm Service Centers (FSC) that provide access to high quality seeds, fertilizer, and other inputs, and serve as centers for access to market and technical information. The FSCs have generated sales and services worth more than $49.4 million, trained more than 37,690 people, and provided access to credit for 10,126 farmers. Three of these FSCs are solely owned and operated by women.

BOOSTING INCOME FOR WOMEN

USAID-developed activities targeting women include dairy processing and poultry production, nurseries, greenhouses, and business-training programs. To help women farmers gain access to quality agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertilizer, and machinery, USAID supported the first women’s farm service center in FY 2010, which serves some 10,000 women working in the agriculture sector in the provinces around Kabul. This was followed in FY 2012 with the establishment of the second and third women’s farm service center in Balkh and Parwan, respectively.

PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT

Environmental degradation is an important cause of declining productivity. Improving watersheds and preserving Afghanistan’s environment are critical to increasing water resources for agriculture and achieving and maintaining peace. USAID supports tree planting, improved water management, reduced soil erosion, increased water retention, and enhanced habitat conservation, all of which will make farms and rangelands more productive and reduce conflict over scarce resources.
 

Current Projects:

Old Projects:

 

Last updated: September 10, 2014

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