Strenghtening Afghanistan Institutions' capacity for the Assessment of Agriculture Production and Scenario Development

Land resources and production assessment

The project will collate existing geospatial information to provide a resource for land management, the modelling of agricultural production, and to support the development of scenarios. National Agro-Ecological Zoning and Land Resources Information Management System in Afghanistan will support the analysis of agriculture resources and future potential based on the FAO Agro-Ecological Zones methodology. This will support national policy and investment decisions, providing location specific agricultural adaptation options, and help achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security, under climate change.

National Agro-Ecological Zoning (NAEZ)
analysis is a downscaled approach to the FAO’s Global Agro-Ecological Zoning (GAEZ) methodology. It includes the generation of land suitability and production gaps for different crops under different scenarios (e.g. climate change, agricultural inputs, management intensity, etc.). This relies on the collation and integration of data on land, soil, water, crops, land utilization types, socio-economic, food security, vulnerability and impacts of climate change and development of adaptive management strategies relevant for production systems for the whole country. The NAEZ supports rural land-use planning to identify areas with similar sets of crop potentials and constraints for optimum land utilization for agriculture development. Following this, specific programs can be formulated in order to provide the most effective intervention to each AEZ and to pave the way for improved agricultural monitoring and crop estimation.

The Land Resources Information Management System (LRIMS)
is a data integration and analysis system for Land Suitability Evaluation and Modelling Land Responses to Agricultural Policies, to be built and customized for the Afghan context. LRIMS comprises a suite of user-friendly GIS-based information management and analysis tools - organized into a toolbox. It introduces navigation, authoring, processing, query, and map-building capabilities; and offers standardized analysis functionality.Moreover, LRIMS also presents a framework for the management of GIS content, provides straightforward access to organizational data and metadata organized into a central spatial database, and promotes collaboration between staff within an organization(s). Prominently, LRIMS allows evaluation of land-use suitability through multiple criteria analysis-based assessments of the physical/socio-economic conditions of land, including Socio-Agricultural Vulnerability Assessment (SAVA).

LRIMS would guide policy-makers in developing appropriate policies/plans and providing location-specific adaptation options for farmers, through the evaluation of the benefits/constraints of different options, and the simulation of different scenarios for various land-uses. LRIMS also enhances Data Sharing; a dedicated information portal would be built to provide information on land suitability, where LRIMS-authored maps would subsequently be available to unlimited numbers of users. Ultimately, LRIMS aims to improve agriculture planning activities, policies and programs, and farmer productivity.