In the remote districts of Afghanistan, investing in agricultural improvements by constructing more greenhouses has provided a viable alternative to poppy cultivation.
Mohammad Akbar, who lives in Baharak district of Badakhshan, has invested 20% and received the remaining 80% from Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility (CARD-F), funded by the British and Danish governments. With this money, he built two greenhouses which have helped him cultivate three times as many vegetables as before. In the first six months of 2016, he has earned enough money to support his family and children.
Mohammad Akbar, father of eight, believes that the new greenhouses in remote districts and villages of the country provide an excellent opportunity for the farmers to earn enough money in order to support their families.
He said: “I am glad that I have two greenhouses and received CARD-F training in order to be a professional farmer. I am planning to build five more greenhouses as they will help me save some money – then I will be able to support my son financially – for his wedding of course. CARD-F’s support has stopped the farmers to cultivate poppy in our area.”
With British and Danish governments support, CARD-F aims to develop commercial value chains and building infrastructure to raise productivity and increase employment, incomes and exports. Another goal of CARD-F is to reduce illicit opium farming by creating alternative opportunities in higher value crops.