Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives – North, East, West (IDEA-NEW)


Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives – North, East, West (IDEA-NEW) is a USAID project that began in March 2009, and is scheduled to be completed in March 2014.  This project continues USAID’s efforts to provide agricultural incentives and economic alternatives for provinces in the East as well as the northern and western poppy-prone regions of the country.

USAID is supporting agriculture marketing, developing rural enterprise and infrastructure, managing watersheds, accessing finance and building national value-chains and trade for key regional products.  USAID collaborates with national, provincial, and district-level officers of line ministries, as well as provincial governors and local leaders.  USAID works closely with provincial reconstruction teams to coordinate and target activities, particularly in areas of USAID priority engagement. The objective of the IDEA-NEW program is intensive value chain development leading to increased incomes and employment in the agricultural sector. IDEA-NEW’s interventions boost agricultural productivity, thereby increasing incomes, jobs and stability in rural areas, including strategic Key Terrain Districts (KTD) and poppy-prone areas.  Value chain development to increase licit incomes in poppy-prone areas is the priority for IDEA-NEW through the transition to 2014.  IDEA-NEW local procurement practices support USAID’s Afghan First Policy by prioritizing local procurement and staffing, and working through line departments and private Afghan agribusiness firms.

IDEA-NEW seeks to:  Contribute to the development of the high value crop subsector, as well as grains and livestock; ensure the sustainability of the agricultural supply and marketing chains; encourage the creation of on-farm and non-farm employment for men and women, and rehabilitate local infrastructure to provide immediate cash incomes directly to vulnerable communities, while building the foundation of improved productive agriculture infrastructure in poppy-susceptible locations.


  • Benefited 937,806 families through community-constructed infrastructure projects, agriculture-voucher programs, rural-business development assistance, grants, and capacity-building activities
  • Created 46,238 full-time equivalent jobs in agriculture, community-constructed infrastructure, and rural-business development projects.
  • Trained 453,600 farmers on approaches to increase agriculture productivity and 1,497 government line staff in the areas related to their work.
  • Trained more than 28,000 farmers on melon-fly pest control, improving yields by 113 percent.
  • Provided technical assistance and training for 7,500 businesses (3,900 women-owned) to improve their business skills and increase their sales.
  • Employed more than 27,900 persons and paid $5.65 million in wages for community-constructed infrastructure projects including irrigation systems, roads, and micro-hydro power plants.
  • Brought 36,160 hectares of agriculture land under improved irrigation.
  • Expanded 10,118 hectares of alternative crops under cultivation.
  • Provided improved care and management for more than 2.69 million livestock, including de-worming and balanced feeding programs.
  • Provided agriculture and livestock-related inputs to 144,760 people through voucher programs
  • Facilitated $2.71 million in agricultural exports.  


Last updated: October 01, 2013

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