Improving Family Incomes and Livelihoods in Rural Afghanistan through Promotion of Sustainable Production Systems for High Value Crops with Less Water
Ahmed Moustafa. (1/1/2007). Improving Family Incomes and Livelihoods in Rural Afghanistan through Promotion of Sustainable Production Systems for High Value Crops with Less Water.
To help Afghan farmers and speed up rural development, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) developed a three year project for transferring an intensive production system (Protected Agriculture) for cash crop production to Afghan growers. The project, which started in January 2004 and which was implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, was supported financially by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Originally the Project involved 35 growers in six provinces and helped them to produce high quality cash crops which resulted in better incomes (up to 135% higher) than their incomes prior to the adoption of PA. After the success of the pilot, a further 30 growers from Kunduz province volunteered to pay half of the cost of receiving a greenhouse and technical backstopping from ICARDA. This increased the total number of pilot growers to 65. It was a step in the right direction for the Afghan growers to be introduced to sustainable and simple PA production techniques and to build a strong base for further development. To increase the sustainability of the project outcomes, a large number of growers and local trainers were trained in country or at advanced production sites outside Afghanistan. Furthermore, a protected agriculture center, with a greenhouse manufacturing workshop, was developed in Kabul and handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Afghanistan (MAF). This publication presents the successful story of the transference of highly intensive production technology (Protected Agriculture) to Afghan growers.