Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Four out of five people in Afghanistan rely on agriculture for their food and income, but decades of conflict, drought, poverty and inadequate infrastructure make it difficult for many to provide for themselves. For some, especially those in remote areas or women who head their households, it is often a question of limited access to productive assets. High prices prevent many from buying the food they need. FAO is supporting the revival and growth of Afghanistan’s agriculture sector – from ramping up certified seed production to promoting entrepreneurial activities – and with it, helping the country set a course for greater food security.

Better seeds, bigger yields

Agricultural development in Afghanistan has long been hamstrung by poor access to improved seed varieties. To counter this, FAO has been working with the Afghan government to set up and expand community-based seed enterprises. These private enterprises, equipped with seed cleaning and packaging equipment and storage facilities, produce and market certified seed well suited to local growing conditions. In just four years, national seed production has tripled. With better seed comes bigger yields – and potentially bigger earnings for farmers, especially as the country’s network of experienced seed producers branch out from certified wheat seed to more profitable crops likes vegetables, rice and maize.

Boosting nutrition and incomes

Livestock are the main livelihood source for many Afghan families. Animals, however, are vulnerable to drought, floods and cold waves, which weaken their health and increase their need for nutrients. Impoverished families unable to feed their animals often have little recourse but to sell or kill their livestock. FAO is working to stem livestock losses by providing veterinary health services and animal feed to rural households. It is supporting local dairy unions to process and market milk, as well as to produce animal feed, providing additional income opportunities for Afghan farmers. In fact, FAO purchases some of the feed it distributes to vulnerable livestock holders from these very unions.

Coordination and partnerships key

In Afghanistan, where challenges stemming from an ongoing crisis are complex and humanitarian needs great, enhanced leadership, reliable information and effective coordination are vital. FAO co-leads the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster in Afghanistan with the World Food Programme. The Cluster, which counts around 45 members including international and national non-governmental organizations, government ministries, UN agencies and donors, aims to make the responses to Afghanistan’s food security and agriculture needs as effective and timely as possible. This means identifying critical gaps – knowing who’s doing what, where, when and how – and building strong partnerships. In addition, FAO is rolling out the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which classifies the nature and scale of food insecurity in the country and, through improved analysis, enables a more needs-based, timely and strategic response.

 

More about the country

 - Key points • Most households are moving to cities, distress selling livestock, reducing planting area, skipping meals or eating poor quality food. Overuse of these emergency livelihood ...read more
30/10/2018
 - Projected IPC acute food insecurity situation overview in Aghanistan from 01/11/18 to 28/02/2019. Click on the Provinces for more details.
30/10/2018
 - IPC acute food insecurity situation overview in Aghanistan from 01/08 to 31/10/2018. Click on the Provinces for more details.
30/10/2018
 - Low precipitation during the winter 2017–18 primary planting season caused severe drought throughout Afghanistan that continued during the spring and summer months. The shortage of rainfall ...read more
26/10/2018
 - The Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) report on food security and agriculture is developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It ...read more
02/10/2018
 - In the context of increasing humanitarian crises, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme are committed, alongside Member States, ...read more
22/08/2018
 - Afghanistan is experiencing one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies. Ongoing conflict, natural disasters, internal displacement and cross-border movements continue to increase food insecurity. This year, ...read more
15/08/2018
 - Civil wars and conflicts have increased markedly in the past decade, leading to the recent reverse of a steady trend towards reducing hunger. They take their heaviest toll ...read more
07/08/2018
 - A new FAO report sounds the alarm on some of the world's most severely underfunded crises, which in the wake of new shocks require an urgent ...read more
01/08/2018
 - In the first half of 2018, conflicts, droughts and floods in countries already experiencing complex crises have left millions of people facing a further deterioration in their food security ...read more
30/07/2018