USAID’s AVIPA Plus program helps create trust between farmers and their government.
23 SEPTEMBER 2010 | GARMSER DISTRICT, HILMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
USAID’s Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture (AVIPA) Plus program not only improves farm production in Afghanistan: it also helps create trust between farmers and their government, giving them a taste of the benefits that come with governance.
But in the Mian Poshtay area of Garmser District, Hilmand Province, farmers face death threats and intimidation. The Taliban prevents the local population from travelling to the district centers, and thus from approaching their government and participating in AVIPA Plus program.
In a recent distribution to this remote area, AVIPA Plus cooperated closely with the military to ensure that seed and low tunnel components reached the intended recipients. The military transported AVIPA Plus staff nine hours through the desert by convoy to reach 200 farmer beneficiaries who would not have otherwise participated in the vouchers program.
Farmers have so far redeemed nearly 100,000 vouchers valued at more than $20 million in Hilmand and Kandahar through AVIPA Plus vouchers. The program distributes vegetable seeds, fertilizer, tool packages, greenhouse and shade kits, storage bags for dry grains and forage, and water pumps to farmers.
Although the agricultural and training inputs are valuable, the farmers receive an even greater benefit – a feeling of trust that their government, with the help of its international partners, is willing to go to great lengths to help them.
Last updated: January 12, 2015