Natural Resources Management
Our Natural Resources Management interventions are primarily agriculture and livestock focused and aim at improving productivity and production as a means to enhancing longer-term livelihoods and quality of life among vulnerable Afghan farmers and their families.
These interventions are designed and implemented in accordance with the needs of each community and the geography they live in.
Irrigation is crucial
Irrigation water is a crucial element in farming; as such we help rehabilitate or reconstruct small-scale irrigation structures and build the capacity of farmers in community-based operation and maintenance ensuring improved and strong supply of water for farming.
In areas where irrigation water is not available, we support farmers in dry-land farming. Introduction of drip irrigation techniques is another method we have been promoting in regions where irrigation water is scarce.
Farm-based schools with practical approach
We primarily employ a Farmer Field School approach to our interventions. These practical farm-based schools bring together a group of farmers to engage in collective learning, experimentation and knowledge sharing over an entire agricultural season. They get updated knowledge and skills on farming best practices from our specialists on demonstration plots.
Upon graduation, farmers receive toolkits and materials to replicate their learning on own farms while they receive follow up technical advice and support from our specialists.
Farmer Field Schools are organised on a variety of agriculture, horticulture and livestock subjects based on a market analysis to ensure that farmers’ increased outputs are meeting market demands.
Saffron as valuable cash crop
In recent years, we have been one of the leading organisations in promoting saffron cultivation in Afghanistan. We have helped farmers in Herat, Faryab and more recently Kunduz and Khost provinces to learn best practices for Saffron cultivation, engage in Saffron value chain
activities and form male and female Saffron Producer Associations.
Saffron is a highly valuable cash crop. Farmers can produce as much as 5.5 kilograms per hectare which they can sell for prices as high as USD 1,500 per kilogram.
Preventing moving sand
In western Afghanistan where many communities suffer from the moving sand phenomenon, we have been integrating community-based rangeland protection with agriculture and employment and business development activities.
In this way we help communities not only improve their village-based livelihoods but also protect and stabilise their rangelands in a sustainable manner.