FAO in Afghanistan

Distribution of concentrated animal feed kicks off in Badakhshan in preparation for incoming harsh winter

An Afghan farmer received certified wheat seed and fertilizers in Faizabad, Badakhshan. ©FAO/Hashim Azizi

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) delegation headed by Richard Trenchard, FAO Representative in Afghanistan on 21 September 2022 inaugurated the distribution of animal feed, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) grant, in Faizabad district of Badakhshan.

Around 100 livestock-keeping households were provided with 200 kg of concentrated animal feed per household. This will help ensure they can meet the nutritional needs of their animals for up to six months. This move is expected to maintain steady production of dairy products during winter and increase each household’s income by up to $35 (3000 afghani) per week through the sale of milk and yoghurt. With ADB’s support, a total of 2,941 households in Badakhshan Province will receive more than 5.8 metric tonnes of concentrated animal feed.

“The distribution of animal feed together with certified wheat seed and fertilizers will continue until the end of November this year - ahead of the biggest wheat cultivation season across the country. The technical training on livestock best management practices had already taken place – with 685 households being trained so far,” said Richard Trenchard – FAO Representative in Afghanistan.

The inauguration of animal feed distribution in Faizabad was also attended by the representatives of UNHCR, UN-Women, and FAO who were in the province for the launch of a multi-agency programme focused on development support to women of Badakhshan (WADA press release to be linked here).

The representatives appreciated the excellent organization of the implementing partner – Afghanaid - in the distribution. They highlighted the importance of quality inputs as well as delivering the concentrated animal feed in time for the onset of winter – which can be harsh, and at which point everything grinds to a halt.

They commended FAO and the Afghanaid team for ensuring that more than 15 percent of the recipients of animal feed were women or female-headed households. In addition, the UN representatives appreciated the local authorities for their support in ensuring safe access for the project teams to all the designated project areas.

One of the beneficiaries shared their gratitude to ADB, FAO, and Afghanaid for this timely provision of high-quality animal feed ahead of the winter months when access to pasture will be very limited. The beneficiary also cited the need for further assistance on livelihoods and health support.

In 2022, using ADB funding, FAO will support 2,941 households with animal feed, 2,958 households with home gardening kits, 1,500 households with small farm equipment, and 500 households with poultry packages in Badakhshan province.

Through its Support for Afghan People Project, ADB is providing $405 million in grants to support food security and help sustain the delivery of essential health and education services for the Afghan people. This includes $65 million in direct financing to the FAO to provide crop and livelihood inputs to farm households and help maintain local staple food production and supply chains.

Supporting agriculture, the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy, in such trying times saves lives. The path to longer-term recovery needs a cost-effective, strategic and long-lasting intervention.

FAO will assist more than 9 million people in 2022 through a range of interventions supporting crop, livestock and vegetable production, cash transfers and the rehabilitation of vital irrigation infrastructure and systems. ADB will fund emergency support packages to 2.73 million people across 33 provinces of Afghanistan in 2022-2023.