Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Agro-ecological zoning atlas. Part 2: Agro-ecological assessments

Year published: 30/08/2022


Agriculture is crucial for the national economy of Afghanistan and in particularly so for the agriculturally dependent population which is constituting 60% of the total population. Adoption of new strategies for agriculture monitoring, rural land use planning and land management are urgently required to reduce hunger and poverty among rural population and to assure sustainable food and feed production for future generations. The availability of reliable information on natural resources and agriculture for its monitoring and analysis is indispensable to development and implementation of such strategies. However, productivity in the agricultural sector has been relatively low. Afghanistan has the potential to increase its output of cereals, fruits and vegetables. For this purpose, the project “Strengthening Afghanistan Institutions’ Capacity for the Assessment of Agriculture Production and Scenario Development” (GCP/AFG/087/EC), funded by the European Union (EU), is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Among the project objectives are improving the understanding of the country’s national resources endowment and limitations as well as assessing agricultural production capacities under current climatic conditions and likely impacts of climate change. Within the context of this project the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) support and implement a National Agro-Ecological Zoning activity in Afghanistan (NAEZ) which assesses quality and availability of land resources and identifies crop cultivation potentials - suitable area, production and attainable yield - under prevailing soil and terrain conditions and for given current or future agroclimatic conditions. One of the outputs of the NAEZ activities is this Agro-Ecological Zones Atlas which is based on applications of the FAO/IIASA National Agro-Ecological Zoning system for current and future climates. The Atlas provides two distinct parts, namely:

• Part 1: Agro-Climatic indicators

• Part 2: Agro-Ecological assessments