Ajmal* runs a shop that sells pesticides in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Until recently, he was unaware that protective clothing should be worn while spraying and that some chemicals are harmful to the environment and are banned by the government.
Kandahar Food Zone intervention programs are designed to support alternatives to poppy cultivation. The goal is to strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods in targeted districts by identifying and addressing the root causes and sources of instability that lead to opium poppy cultivation. The two-year, $18.7 million program began in July 2013.
Until recently, Maroof* wasn’t able to grow his metalworking business because the shop, in Shibirghan in the northern Afghan province of Jawzjan, could not keep up with the competition. Its production capacity was limited and so were the tools used to make the doors, window frames, fencing and corrugated steel panels that were in demand.
Summer temperatures can soar to 109 F in Qala-i-Naw, capital of Afghanistan’s northwestern province of Badghis. The power supply is erratic and most households don’t have refrigerators, which can be a problem—as well as a business opportunity.
Shelter for Life is a microfinance institution in Kabul that provides loans to businesses. But it found it hard to track loans. Its loan officers in different cities did not have a centralized database to consult. They did not have access to accurate and timely information and could not take note of delinquency or manage defaults.
Last updated: July 29, 2015