Afghanistan Value Chains (AVC)—High Value Crops

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2018-2023

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Afghanistan

Solutions: Economic Growth

The Afghanistan Value Chains–High Value Crops project exemplifies USAID’s new approach to promoting rapid, inclusive and lasting growth in the agriculture sector. This approach combines market systems development, which seeks to address market failures through interventions that modify market players’ incentives and behavior, with the use of anchor firms, i.e. well-established agribusinesses positioned to drive systemic change, as entry points and partners. This combined approach promotes behavior change, drives innovation, and accelerates economic growth in a way that ensures lasting and large-scale transformational market system change.

During its first year, the project initiated the process of transforming Afghanistan’s agriculture sector, moving away from supply side activities to demand side and transformational interventions based on organizational and institutional arrangements to enable market actors to perceive and react to market incentives, upgrade their operations, and drive systemic growth.


Sample Activities

  • Support anchor firms to co-create upgrading strategies, so that they can exert a pull factor that would result in the systemic growth of the value chains.
  • Enable anchor firms to penetrate new markets by facilitating their participation in international trade events.
  • Provide technical services, including food safety training and certifications, packaging design and optimization of agro-processing lines.
  • Facilitate access to finance, both debt and equity, establishing partnerships to reduce the cost and time of transport.
  • Promote the delivery of private sector agricultural extension services.

Select Results

  • Sponsored the first Afghanistan National Young Innovators in Agriculture Competition.
  • Established partnerships with 83 agribusinesses.
  • Facilitated $6 million in exports.
  • Assisted in the investment of $7 million.
  • Enabled firms in accessing $4.5 million finance.
  • Assisted 17,500 farmers (30 percent women and 35 percent young people) to access modern production and quality-enhancing technologies.


Afghanistan—Agricultural Credit Enhancement Program I & II (ACE)

For more than 25 years, Afghan farmers did not have access to agricultural credit, seriously constraining the growth of farming. DAI managed a $100 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to provide credit to farmers, who repay their loans after their harvests.

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