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FAO in Afghanistan

The Country Programming Framework (CPF 2017-2021) sets out strategic pillars of expertise to guide FAO partnership with and support to the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) – bringing together innovative international best practices and global standards with national and regional acquaintance during four years from 2017 to 2021.

The CPF was prepared following consultations and agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), donors and other interested parties and supported by extensive reviews of published materials related to the agricultural sector in Afghanistan (including donor plans and priorities for the relevant period). This is a revision following a major policy change by the GoIRA and the International Community agreed at the Brussels Conference in October 2016; as well as in line with the reform agenda of National Comprehensive Agriculture Development Priority Programme (2016-2020); Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Afghanistan National Food Security and Nutrition Agenda (AFSeN); and Citizen Charter Programme (CCP).

Pillar 1. Better governance through improved capacity for policy planning, land reform, decentralization, management of common natural resources

Improving governance remains the government´s first priority, as rampant corruption, uncertainty about property rights, a lack of state effectiveness, the conflicts between the host community and the returnees on land issues and legitimacy are undermining other efforts to promote development. FAO is pioneer of governance reform in the agricultural sector: mainly in management of land and common property resources, such as graze land, water or forests; capacity development for the governance of the agricultural sector; and support to evidence-based policy making and participatory community led service provision. 

Pillar 2. Fostering Expansion of Irrigation and Field Water Management

FAO has provided technical assistance for the rehabilitation of many traditional irrigation schemes. The main objectives of such interventions have been to help restore irrigated agriculture production in the rural areas of post-conflict Afghanistan through improved and reliable water supply to rehabilitated irrigation schemes. 

Pillar 3. Intensive Agriculture for Commercialization, Value Chains Development, and Job Creation

While significant progress in governance of the agricultural sector and physical expansion of arable land are pre-requisites for agricultural-led economic growth, the core of strategy lies in developing value chains that provide producers with greater incentives to invest. Ensuring an adequate economic environment, developing improved seeds, promoting better farm technology and more storage and cold chain facilities are all objectives of the national government economic strategy to help smallholders move towards surplus production for domestic and export markets.

Pillar 4. Supporting Vulnerable Farmers for Improved Food & Nutrition Security, Resilience and Emergency Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters and Climate Change

FAO will use its national and international expertise to strengthen the government and other stakeholders capacity for disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response by: 1) supporting the formulation of policies and strategies and aiding their implementation 2) technical assistance to continue the improvement of data collection, monitoring and decision making; 3) contribute to the improved capacity for co-ordination; 4)  in partnership with the relevant institutions, develop innovative solutions to climate change and biodiversity issues.