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This Survey was conducted in three distinct phases according to the timeframe of the consultants’ missions and the seasons, in order to ensure a smooth implementation of the activities at the field level.

Phase I included conducting a national survey of all research stations, nucleus fruit nurseries, and private nurseries, the latter selected according to data gathered from previous FAO Afghan horticultural projects.

All the local and exotic fruit trees species and varieties present in the nucleus fruit and private nurseries were listed, including the number, age and the phytosanitary conditions of the trees. Questionnaires were conducted on research station and fruit tree nursery surveys (A, B, C), using altimeters and Global Positioning System (GPS), and information was collected on the elevation and exact position of both the nucleus and the private nurseries.

Phase I also implemented a test survey of the horticulture sector at the village level. It was carried out in December 2002 and January 2003 in three selected provinces (Kabul, Khost, Nangarhar) to avoid any possible technical and logistical constraints for the implementation of the national horticulture survey. Information gathered on the data entry of the test survey was analysed.

Phase II focused on launching the Afghanistan Survey of the Horticulture Sector 2003, which was officially launched on 20 February 2003, considered Afghan springtime, the ideal season to commence the survey field activities.

The field survey mobilized staff that included 87 field researchers (3 for each province), 7 Regional Survey Coordinators and 1 National Survey Coordinator. All the field researchers were recruited through the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (MAAH) and were assigned to stations in their home provinces.

The questionnaire was divided into four different sections (D1, D2, D3, D4) and included questions on farming systems, occurrences of natural disasters and manmade calamities, farm size, farm power, farm families, the crops cultivated and irrigation sources. In addition, the questionnaire covered the status of horticultural crop production, farmer income and problems related to access to the domestic horticultural product market.

Phase III focused on data entry and analysis of the results of this national horticulture survey and the national survey for all nucleus fruit nurseries, national research stations and private nurseries.

The random crosscheck at the field level, which included the monitoring of data collected in the ten selected provinces, was completed on 30 April 2003. Data entry of the horticultural survey was completed in June 2003. The data analysis included queries and was analysed using Microsoft Access and Excel programs to assist with numeric operations and graph design. Further, Arc View software was utilized for drawing maps.

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