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


Agriculture is crucial for the national economy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan accounting for about a quarter of GDP and the agriculturally-dependent population constitutes 60 percent of the total population. Farming is the main livelihood strategies for over half the Afghan households and sixty-eight percent have some type of livestock. However, productivity in the agricultural sector remains relatively low and a third of the population is food insecure with thirty-six percent of the population with low dietary diversity.

The region is semi-arid and highly vulnerable to climate change, especially as arable agriculture typically small farms and highly dependent on irrigation and water availability, but with potential for higher production. Afghanistan has the potential to increase its output of cereals, fruits, nuts and vegetables and to develop supply chains for higher value-added products (e.g. horticulture and cash crops). However, the development of these supply chains will require investments to develop and improve practices and extension services and to build downstream agro-processing capacities.

Part of the strategy for these production improvements is the enhancement of the capacity for monitoring and analysis of agricultural production systemsusing geospatial technologies to inform agricultural policies, and provide climate adaptation opportunities to the farming community. The project will further engage MAIL in a process of transition that will boost the ownership by enhancement of the capacity of MAIL to deliver public sector services. Similar and in line with the EU-Transition Project, this project will also focus on both the areas: operational and technical support to enhance the capacity of MAIL staff to undertake service delivery by strengthening Institutions capacity for monitoring and analysing of agriculture production systems and development of Land Resources Information Management System (LRIMS) and National Agro-Ecological Zoning (NAEZ).

The project will, therefore, directly contribute to the GOA’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, to enhance food security and will also contribute to the ongoing key priority areas outlined in the policies of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), set out in the National Comprehensive Agriculture Development Priority Programme 2016 – 2020. Ultimately, it will help increase peace and stability in Afghanistan through food security at different levels. The project aims to improve monitoring and analysis of agricultural production systems in the country to support agricultural policies and food security. It  act as a building block to address the issues related to the limitations within MAIL that include human capacity, resources available and the absorption capacity of MAIL. This project is funded by the EU and implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and the Central Statistical Office.