FAO in Afghanistan

JICA-funded FAO’s Irrigation Project kicks off in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan


FAO Representative in Afghanistan, Mr Rajendra Aryal, together with Bamyan Governor HE Mr Mohammad Tahir Zohair, Honorable Deputy Minister of Energy and Water (MEW) Mr Khan Mohammad Takal and Member of Parliament HE Mohammad Rahim Aliyarzada, jointly inaugurated the Naytaq and Raqul canals in Yakawlang District in Bamyan Province on 4 September 2019.

Other attendees included officials and representatives from Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (PAIL), Bamyan Provincial and District Councils, community elders and farmers, FAO project team in the field, and international and local media.

This symbolizes the start of the fourth phase of the FAO’s irrigation project “The Project for Enhancing Rural Livelihoods through Improved Irrigation Facilities in Bamyan, Kabul and Kapisa Provinces”. The project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and supported by the Government of Japan with a total of USD 9.9 million over a three-year period. The project is implemented by FAO in Bamyan, Kabul and Kapisa provinces.

The project aims to rehabilitate about 28 irrigation systems with nearly 191 km canal length covering 7,000 hectares of land, which will directly benefit over 16,000 farming families through increased agricultural production and productivity. It is expected to increase the wheat yield by 25% from the current value in these provinces and also provide water for domestic use, livestock and other livelihood needs. In addition, the project is expected to generate about 300,000 labor days during the construction period. 40 government officials and 300 key farmers will also be trained on improved agricultural and irrigation management practices.

Bamyan Governor and MEW Deputy Minister highly appreciated the collaboration with FAO Afghanistan and expressed that the project will continue to contribute to improving water resources management and largely benefitting the local agriculture development and the local livelihoods. FAO Representative Mr. Rajendra Aryal thanked JICA and the government of Japan and emphasized that irrigation is a critical priority for Afghanistan’s agriculture development. He also thanked the Government of Afghanistan for the leadership taken and support extended to FAO for the successful implementation of irrigation projects in the country. “FAO has endeavored over the past decades to improve Afghanistan’s irrigation facilities, and this project will be another milestone to contribute directly to Bamyan’s sustainable agriculture development”, he further added.