ICARDA works closely with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), through collaborative projects in several provinces. Collaboration in Nangarhar province began in 2002, and the results have been impressive: new crops and varieties providing substantially higher yields and farm incomes; a completely new cottage industry based on the cultivation of medicinal plants; village-based seed enterprises to produce high-quality seed at affordable prices; and new technologies for goat husbandry and dairy processing.
“This partnership has made a major contribution to food security, nutrition and livelihoods in Nangarhar,” said HE Gul Agha Sherzai, Governor of Nangarhar. Similar sentiments were expressed by Eng. Hossein Safi, MAIL Director General for the province. They were speaking at a function to honor ICARDA’s Afghanistan team, led by Dr Javed Rizvi.
Ongoing projects in Afghanistan cover crop improvement (wheat, barley and legume crops), seed systems, water management, livestock production, and market-oriented diversification of farming systems. These programs are supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Netherlands government and other partners.
Bigger harvests, better livelihoods. ICARDA-Afghanistan partnerships have made a difference, say national policy makers.