More than 50,000 farmers’ livelihoods will be transformed in the Bamyan province of Afghanistan, through a new agricultural initiative supported by the British Government.
The programme will give famers access to cutting edge agricultural techniques, improving their livelihoods and those of their families.
The Bamyan Agricultural Support Programme (ASP) works with 40 farmer cooperatives to give members access to modern farming equipment such as tractors, high quality wheat and potato seed, and support for small business development.
This will ensure that farmers get greater financial returns from their activities and help reduce poverty in the region.
Key objectives for the programme include:
- Encouraging the use of modern machinery on local farms through investment in 40 tractors and other equipment for the cooperatives.
- Supporting 40 improved wheat seed businesses, 20 potato seed businesses, and 20 livestock genetics businesses.
- Providing business support to women and those with little or no land, can develop small businesses and new industries to increase and diversify incomes and improve nutrition in the province.
- Conserving the environment by working with 40 communities to reduce the negative impacts that intensive grazing and bush cutting has on the land.
- Developing crops that improve the quality of farming land through a rain fed alfalfa seed bank initiative.
- Working closely with the Bamyan University Agriculture Department to train local agriculture professionals who will be able to support the programme long term.
The programme is a partnership between the New Zealand Aid Programme, the UK Department for International Development, and the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, with input from the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team’s USAID Agricultural Advisers.
ASP started in December 2011 and will run for the next three years in at least four districts in Bamyan - Bamyan Central, Yakawlang, Panjab and Waras Districts.