Afghanistan—Regional Agricultural Development Program (RADP–North)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2014-2019

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Afghanistan

Solutions: Economic Growth

Farmers and agribusinesses in northern Afghanistan are well-positioned to capitalize on the country’s growing economy and expanding ties to the global community. In recent years, Mazar-e-Sharif has become a trading hub for agricultural products, in part because of its proximity to Central Asia. Buildings are springing up across the city as companies set up shop, and a newly functioning railway between Mazar-e-Sharif and the Uzbekistan border has unlocked vast trading opportunities with Central and Southern Asia. In Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces, new bridges across the Amu River have also opened trade with Tajikistan.

Despite these prospects, farmers and agribusinesses in northern Afghanistan faced a range of challenges to improve farm productivity and increase agribusiness profitability. The lack of reliable irrigation, use of low-yielding seeds, widespread absence of fertilizer and pesticide, poor cultivation and post-harvest techniques, shortage of appropriate technologies, and underutilization of female labor all contributed to weak productivity. The Regional Agricultural Development Program–North (RADP-North), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), facilitated investments and works to improve the productivity and profitability of select agricultural value chains, increasing the food and economic security of rural Afghans.

Through partnerships with USAID, Afghan Government agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) and the Directorate of Women’s Affairs (DOWA), and myriad development projects focused on stability, infrastructure, and agriculture, RADP-North leveraged investments in agricultural value chains to optimize cost-effectiveness and incorporate lessons learned.

RADP-North worked in the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Jawzjan, Kunduz, and Samangan, home to 5 million people.

RADP-North-web-page.jpgTwo-wheel tractor reaping demonstration in Balkh district.

Sample Activities

  • Introduce laser land-leveling, certified seed, and mechanized seeding, fertilizing, and harvesting where farmland was being used inefficiently.
  • Introduce diverse, high-value crops for increased sales, exports, and improved nutrition.
  • Assist women to establish kitchen gardens to improve household nutrition and provide income.
  • Train para-veterinarians and assist butcheries to address the underperforming livestock sector.

Select Results

  • $256 million in additional sales in wheat and other RADP-North targeted commodities.
  • $28 million of confirmed sales and $20 million in follow-up orders for dried fruit and nuts through beneficiaries’ attendance at trade shows.
  • $8.3 million in increased profits by partner agribusinesses.
  • $10.7 million in increased value of livestock through reduced mortality, increased reproduction, and increased sale of animal by-products.
  • Nearly 20,000 women trained in nutrition and more than 7,700 kitchen gardens supported, empowering women to improve household nutrition, disseminate nutrition principles, reduce child diarrhea, and prevent anemia.
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