Afghanistan Programs

Iowa National Guard Afghan Agricultural Development Team

The 2010-2011 deployment of the 734th Agribusiness Development Team to Kunar Province in mountainous eastern Afghanistan included training by many faculty and staff from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture. Under the command of Col. Craig Bargfrede, the team will participate in humanitarian veterinary, horticulture, water-management and agro-forestry outreach. Dan Burden, Program Coordinator, International & Special Projects, contributed training and reference materials and acted as cultural liaison. The team is comprised of farmers, agricultural chemical and fertilizer dealers, veterinarians and veterinary assistants, and resource conservation professionals who have left their families and livelihoods to volunteer for this extended tour of service to rural Afghans.

For more information:

Daniel Burden; Program Coordinator, International & Special Projects, Extension Value-added Agriculture Program, 1111 NSRIC Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011. (515) 294-9520; djburden@iastate.edu.

Iowa National Guard (press release on ADT team)

Cattle Network (press report)

185th Airwing (press report)

Radio Iowa


Truth About Trade & Technology (press report)

Wallaces Farmer (press report)

Horticultural Capacity & Value-Added Agriculture in Afghanistan

In a country whose ag-product processing was infrastructure decimated by war, this project looked at the potential for adding value to commonly produced Afghan horticulture and row crops. At the request of non-governmental aid organization (NGO) International Foundation of Hope (IFHope) this project had two phases, one involved background research to chart regional import-export trends and markets for various crops and products produced from them; the other involved on-site reviews of the potential for the NGO to build a new dehydrated vegetable facility, and a feasibility review for taking over a communist-era vegetable, olive and olive-oil cannery. Both projects were considered to address the development needs of the district including the inclusion of local women, and promote local cooperative business governance and ownership.

In 2005 site visits included a feasibility review of the USAID-RAMP (Rebuilding Agricultural Markets in Afghanistan) Chemonics-funded Charikar (Parwan) dehydrated vegetable project and the non-operational communist-era Jalalabad olive and vegetable cannery. The Charikar dehydrated vegetable project built and managed by Development Works Canada. This project includes a grower cooperative for 600-farmer members with governance training and progressive ownership of the facility, including the training and inclusion of female staff in the construction and operation of the facility. The Jalalabad olive and vegetable cannery was operationally limited in 2005.

Background work from 2004 through 2007 included the production of research papers and training materials for IFHope decision-makers, staff and field specialists. The NGO decided not to pursue processing avenues, however, a comprehensive report on value-added horticulture opportunities was complied in the summer of 2005 and used to acquire a $2.4M grant from NGO DAI (Development Alternatives, Inc.) to support village-level implementation and outreach for associated horticulture projects.

For more information:

Daniel Burden; Program Coordinator, International & Special Projects, Extension Value-added Agriculture Program, 1111 NSRIC Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011. (515) 294-9520; djburden@iastate.edu.

International Foundation of Hope
(IFHope), P.O. Box 60219, Colorado Springs, CO, 80960, USA. (719) 226-5110; Fax: (719) 226-5381. Afghanistan: Block 7, Kabul-Torkham Rd., Jalalabad, (93) (0)70 605 705. Info@IFHope.org

Development Works Canada, 26 Castlefield Ave, Sittsville (Ottawa) Ontario K2S 1E5, Canada. Kabul Office is: Kart-e-Parwan 2; ++1 613-482-2275; kabul@developemtnworks.cc

DAI
(Development Alternatives, Inc.; Washington Office), Suite 200; 7600 Wisconsin Avenue; Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. (301) 771-7600; Fax: (301) 771-7777

USAID/Afghanistan
. U.S. Embassy Cafe Compound, 6180 Kabul Place, Great Masood Road, Kabul, Afghanistan. Mailing address: U.S. Agency for International Development; 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20523. (202) 216-6288; kabulusaidinformation@usaid.gov.

Agroforestry for Afghan Rural Empowerment

Poplars are fast-growing and suitable at very early maturity for light construction in local villages as poles and braces. Based on in-country recommendations and written evaluations by the consulting ISU value-added agriculture specialist, IFHope established and maintained poplar plantations in five villages for local employment and revenue generation. Establishing these plantations provided employment for 4,460 man-days of paid local labor and the sale of harvested trees will result in revenue of over $40,000 in four years; a return of well over twice the projected costs to establish the plantations.


In this project, IFHope partnered with and GTZ-PAL with funding from DAI (Development Alternatives, Inc.). It was implemented March 2005 and March 2006, respectively, in Five Districts in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. It was is designed to be small in size (one hectare total) yet with enough geographic distribution (five districts) to adequately test for the viability of the project for public land, intending to benefit a community rather than a private individual. The income from the sale of wood will fund other local projects that address immediate district needs. Each village received 2,000 poplar tree cuttings for approximately one jerib (about 1/5 hectare or ½ acre) plantations; the plantations were located on land adjoining District Centers to serve as high-value agroforestry demonstration plots readily accessible to local villagers. Additionally, IFHope donated shade trees for the districts centers. The project included cuttings, intercrop plantings, fertilizer, agroforestry management guidance and training, periodic follow-up agro-forestry plantation-management guidance; as well as employed village labor and included maintenance incentives.

Considerations for this project included:

  • Will a publicly owned forest plantation be adequately maintained?
  • Will the trees be harvested at the agreed upon time after four years?
  • Will the agreed upon plan be implemented by district officials to benefit the community?
  • Will project revenue be used to specifically address the needs of women?

Evaluation of the results was extremely encouraging, and resulted in the Chaparhar Commercial Tree Project; a combined woodlot and construction pole project of 30 acres of saplings on private land. This partly resulted from the tremendous response of villagers to another successful IFHope project that established a local agro-forestry “woodlot” for fuel for a bread bakery. In the Chaparhar project, from 30-50 participating farmer landowners were selected to plant 0.5 to 1.5 acres of Eucalyptus for firewood or poplars for construction poles. A rotational planting-harvest system, where one-fourth of each planting is harvested each year beginning after the third year, was designed to provide sustainable supply, product harvest, and a steady farmer income. IFHope provided training in woodlot management, conducted the site surveys, provided the saplings, assisted local farmers in designing and planting the stock, and arranged for the purchase and delivery of fertilizer and other inputs.

This project resulted in the participating farmers (averaging 1.5 jeribs) (1 jerib is approximately 1/5 hectare or ½ acre) of woodlot, earning a sustainable annual income stream $1,800 per year from the eucalyptus and $3,000 per year from poplar poles. The combined benefit to the villagers from the 15 acres of woodlot is valued at over $35,000.

For more information:

Daniel Burden; Program Coordinator, International & Special Projects, Extension Value-added Agriculture Program, 1111 NSRIC Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011. (515) 294-9520; djburden@iastate.edu.

International Foundation of Hope
(IFHope), P.O. Box 60219, Colorado Springs, CO 80960, USA. (719) 226-5110; Fax: (719) 226-5381. Afghanistan: Block 7, Kabul-Torkham Rd., Jalalabad, (93) (0)70 605 705. Info@IFHope.org.

DAI
(Development Alternatives, Inc.; Washington Office), Suite 200; 7600 Wisconsin Avenue; Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. (301) 771-7600; Fax: (301) 771-7777.

USAID/Afghanistan
. U.S. Embassy Cafe Compound, 6180 Kabul Place, Great Masood Road, Kabul, Afghanistan. Mailing address: U.S. Agency for International Development; 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20523. (202) 216-6288; kabulusaidinformation@usaid.gov.

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