The Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program in Afghanistan expanded agricultural exports by working with the private sector to help drive the country’s economic growth. Through this USAID-funded program, Chemonics revitalized and improved the competitiveness of the Afghanistan agriculture sector and improved the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock to formulate policies and provide administrative and financial coordination.
The project focused on accelerating sales of high-value commodities and provided strategic support to Afghanistan’s public and private sectors with the overarching goals of improving agriculture production, increasing sales of agriculture products, creating new jobs, and introducing modern agriculture technologies and practices. As a result, ASAP paved the way for $14 million in exports, opening up the international retail market for Afghan produce at supermarkets like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, and Spencer’s in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. This initiative facilitated sales worth more than $29 million in 2011.
The project hosted 11 agriculture fairs in Afghanistan to promote the country’s produce to the world, boost exports, share knowledge, and integrate geographically disconnected regions. More than 534,000 visitors attended the fairs and generated an estimated $4 million in actual business deals and $49 million in potential deals. In five years, 516,429 individuals received training on best agricultural practices, food safety requirements, and business skills, and nearly 1.1 million rural households benefited from the project’s work.
Additionally, Chemonics established 20 provincial and regional AgDepot associations to distribute agriculture goods to agriculture workers throughout Afghanistan, selling more than $10 million in agricultural supplies and reaching more than 550,000 farmers nationwide. The project established more than 300 demonstration plots across the country and linked them with AgDepots to be used as agricultural extension venues.
The project trained 466,721 goat herders, 21 percent of whom were women, on the value of cashmere and proper harvesting methods. It also supported 450 private sector veterinary field units that provided 30,750,604 livestock vaccinations and 19,795,162 treatments, and generated $12,821,340 in sales of medicines and vaccinations
- Created 7,948 full-time equivalent jobs
- Improved 22,754 hectares of crops with new technologies
- Distributed 526,908 pomegranate saplings to 3,579 farmers, covering more than 964 hectares in some of the country’s prime pomegranate-growing regions
- Employed 13,000 people in cash-for-work projects in Balkh, improving water management of 106 kilometers of canals and reforesting 500 hectares of state-owned land
Project Duration: 2006 - 2011