Informations géospatiales à l’appui de systèmes alimentaires durables

Geospatial Unit support to the Afghanistan Emergency Food Security Project

Agriculture stands as a pivotal sector in Afghanistan's economy, contributing significantly to economic growth and livelihoods for a substantial portion of the population. However, challenges stemming from climatic, political, economic, and water-related issues undermine the agricultural sector's stability. With only 40 percent of farming households having access to irrigated land, agricultural productivity remains closely linked to irrigation. Vulnerable families selling agricultural products earn an average income of just USD 800 per year. Additionally, the locust swarm, extreme weather events, and the COVID-19 crisis have all further threatened Afghanistan's food security and socio-economic landscape.

In response, the World Bank, Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) donors, and international partners are joining efforts to provide essential support to the Afghan people. Recognizing the crucial role of agriculture in food security improvement, the Geospatial Unit (Land and Water Division, NSL) is actively engaged in the "Afghanistan Emergency Food Security Project" (EFSP). This project aims to enhance household food security and nutrition by bolstering food availability, access, and resilience.

The Geospatial Unit's involvement in EFSP encompasses several key objectives:

1. National Wheat Mapping: Utilizing remote sensing multi-temporal satellite imagery, the Geospatial Unit is creating a comprehensive analysis of wheat cultivation (extent and productivity) over the past five years. This data will aid in identifying suitable land for increased wheat production and mapping agricultural development challenges. The unit will also develop a national crop and wheat monitoring web platform.

2. Vegetable Production Support: By analyzing existing Agroecological Zoning assessments, the Geospatial Unit is identifying optimal areas for vegetable cultivation. High-resolution satellite imagery is used to delineate backyard parcels, aiding in monitoring vegetable production. Multi-temporal analyses assess wheat growth within these parcels.

3. Irrigation Facilities Mapping: The unit is generating user-friendly baseline information, including web applications, maps, and watershed profiles, related to water and resilience services. This involves mapping the upper watershed area, including Karez irrigation zones, to assess land use changes and impacts of recent restoration interventions. 

4. Field Data Collection and Analysis: Activities requiring on-the-ground data collection, such as wheat data collection, restoration of irrigation systems, drainage canal cleaning, and soil and water conservation, are being supported. The heritage and knowledge of the unit will help local staff collecting the right data to support remote sensing analysis.

5. Monitoring and Capacity Building: The Geospatial Unit provides training to national staff on methodologies and tools for all project pillars, ensuring effective implementation and sustainability.


In a nation highly dependent on agriculture, the Geospatial Unit's contributions are paramount in combating food security challenges, enhancing resilience, and promoting sustainable development.