Afghanistan—Value Chains-Crops (AVC)

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–Crops (AVC) project promotes 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.

In its final year, the project addresses the food emergency affecting 22 percent of Afghans and utilizes its existing partnerships with more than 200 agribusinesses to reach Afghans across the country. The project supports 25,000 farmers to grow wheat for their own consumption and supply to the domestic market. The project will also provide seeds, fertilizers, and training to 10,000 rural women to create gardens that will supplement the food needs of their households. These activities will result in the production of more than 30,000 metric tons of wheat with an estimated value of $3.6 million—enough to feed 345,000 Afghans. In 2023, the project will support 5,000 farmers to grow legume crops and 5,000 to grow rice.

Afghanistan Crops.png

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.
  • Give 10,000 individuals from the poorest households across Afghanistan the opportunity to participate in community work. These activities will be prioritized by community leaders and could include cleaning irrigation canals, repairing roads, preparing land for crop production, or supporting other community efforts. This emergency relief food-for-work activity will last three months, generating about 720,000 days of work and providing food for approximately 80,000 individuals.

Select Results

  • As part of its COVID-19 response, the project invested $77,000 to incentivize exports through new routes and transport means, resulting in 92 shipments to Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Japan worth $4.5 million (a 58:1 return on investment). These and other pre-COVID activities resulted in $6.4 million in additional investment in agriculture and $10.6 million in incremental exports.
  • Sponsored the first Afghanistan National Young Innovators in Agriculture Competition.
  • Established partnerships with 99 agribusinesses.
  • Facilitated $49.2 million in exports.
  • Assisted in the investment of $21 million.
  • Enabled firms in accessing $13 million in business loans.
  • Assisted 19,500 farmers (30 percent women and 35 percent young people) to access modern production and quality-enhancing technologies.
  • Facilitated an 18 percent increase in household income.
  • Facilitated a 24 percent increase in production of key products.
  • Trained 6,322 individuals.
  • Helped 96 firms to benefit directly from project activities.
  • Helped create 1,075 new full-time employment jobs.


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