Grain Research and Innovation (Grain)

  • Duration: 
    Mar 2017 – Sep 2022
  • Value: $19 million


The Grain Research and Innovation (GRAIN) project enhances the capacity of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) to conduct wheat-related research and identify technologies and practices that promise the greatest benefits to the wheat sector. The research focuses on productivity, profitability, and climate resilience of wheat-based systems through improved soil management, land cultivation, crop production practices, access to high-yield seed varieties and appropriate inputs, and linkages to the private seed sector and other actors along the wheat value chain.


  • Build the human and institutional capacity of MAIL and the Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA) to conduct wheat research, analyze and communicate the findings in collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Conduct short-term training on design, implementation, and analysis of wheat production trials to improve the institutional and human capacity of MAIL and ARIA to convert research results into recommended best practices for wheat producers in different agro-ecological zones
  • Support MAIL in convening meetings of the Wheat Team or wheat value chain stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of the public and private sectors to identify and address key constraints in the wheat value chain, in the context of national wheat sector development policy
  • Build the capacity of women to conduct, analyze, and communicate results from wheat research and ensure extension activities are gender-responsive


  • Afghan University and MAIL researchers conducted nine collaborative field, laboratory, and social science researches in Balkh, Nangarhar, Herat, and Kabul to address key constraints in the wheat sector
  • Seventeen graduate degree scholarship recipients commenced studies at leading Indian universities (9 PhD and 8 MSc; 2 females)
  • ARIA conducted 15 agronomy trials in six agro-ecological zones to identify zone-specific best practices to increase wheat yield and quality. The provinces reached were Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Kabul.
  • Developed a new Data Management System (DMS) to improve the efficiency and accuracy of field data collection. Trained over 40 farm mangers from all 14 ARIA research farms, ARIA researchers, university researchers, and project personnel on DMS use
  • Trained more than 380 individuals from 18 provinces on agricultural sector productivity or food security
  • 20 interns (10 females) commenced the ARIA Research Internship Program in Balkh, Nangarhar, Herat, and Kabul.
  • Trained nearly 370 individuals to advance programs that encourage gender-responsive research in agriculture and increase women's participation in research and extension


Last updated: June 17, 2019

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