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Agriculture

An Afghan farmer at his agriculture demonstration farm in Rodaat district of Nangarhar province in the eastern region.
An Afghan farmer at his agriculture demonstration farm in Rodaat district of Nangarhar province in the eastern region.
USAID/Afghanistan

The majority of Afghans rely on agriculture to feed their families and to earn a livelihood. Agriculture is the primary driver of economic growth in Afghanistan. Prior to decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s agricultural products earned a global reputation for excellence, particularly almonds, pomegranates, pistachios, raisins, and apricots. Afghanistan is now reestablishing its place on the international market.

OUR WORK

USAID partners with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to increase the productivity and incomes of Afghan farmers, build value chains that connect farmers, processors, and wholesalers, and expand opportunities to export Afghan goods to international markets.

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

In 2016:

  • USAID facilitated over $ 158 million in domestic and international sales of agricultural goods
  • USAID increased the incomes of 80,000 households
  • USAID supported more than 5,100 agricultural enterprises and farmers with loans to support and expand their businesses
  • USAID helped 52,000 farmers grow more and higher quality wheat and other targeted crops
  • USAID rehabilitated 135 kilometers of irrigation canals, which improved irrigation on over 9,100 hectares of farmland

RESTORING AFGHANISTAN’S AGRICULTURAL STRENGTH

Since 2006 , USAID has supported the distribution of vouchers for seed, fertilizer, tools, skills, and technology to jumpstart production and boost the income of farmers across the country while also helping Afghan farmers gain access to finance, equipment, and training. By 2016, USAID helped to generate more than $530 million in sales and services for farmers and agribusinesses. Over the past ten years, USAID has also trained more than 2.3 million people, provided more than 39,000 households with access to credit, and helped agribusinesses access financing that has generated approximately 52,000 jobs (direct and indirect). In total, USAID investments in agriculture have helped create over 642,000 new agricultural jobs.

USAID’s investment in rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure has increased water availability for approximately 499,000 hectares of agricultural land. As a result, farmers are able to grow more than one crop, increasing the total land farmed and the volume and value of crops produced. To prevent environmental degradation and enhance land productivity, USAID has supported tree planting and improved water management to reduce soil erosion and increase water retention. USAID supports every link in the agricultural value chain by helping farmers, processors, and exporters. USAID’s efforts promote food and economic security, increase post-harvest storage capacity, encourage market-led agricultural growth, and boost women’s participation in the agriculture sector.

INCREASING ACCESS TO CREDIT AND STRENGTHENING AGRIBUSINESS

USAID supported the creation of the Agriculture Development Fund, which is dedicated to serving the agriculture sector and facilitating access to specialized credit lines, including financial products designed specifically for business women and farmers. USAID is also helping new agribusinesses grow and enabling farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their products. Since 2010, USAID has provided $84 million in loans to farming households and agribusinesses, creating thousands of full time jobs.

CONNECTING FARMERS TO REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

The future of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector depends on expanding the customer base beyond Afghanistan’s borders. USAID has opened new markets to Afghan goods by helping farmers meet international packaging and shipping standards and by organizing international agricultural trade fairs. USAID has facilitated agriculture export sales of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and cashmere worth over $66 million to India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and other countries. USAID’s efforts to build value chains has helped 1.1 million households, resulted in the planting of over 3.9 million fruit saplings and grape cuttings, the establishment of over 25,000 hectares of fruit orchards and vineyards, and the construction of 200 raisin drying facilities and cold storage rooms.


Current Projects:


Completed Projects:


Last updated: November 20, 2017

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