Mohammad Asif, father of seven, resident of Kishm district of Badakhshan province has harvested more than 198 metric tons of onion this season from only 10.5 Jeribs of land. Only two year ago Asif was struggling to make ends meet. Even though he used to put much more effort during the previous seasons, but the harvest was much less. More than 75% of Afghanistan’s population is dependent on Agriculture but the agricultural practices in use have been inherited by their ancestors. Lack of familiarity with the new agricultural technologies and practices have put the entire population dependent on agriculture in a disadvantage.
Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility (CARD-F), funded by the British and Danish government, has taken an initiative to address these shortcomings by introducing new agriculture practices and technologies and providing farmers with technical assistance to enhance their capacities and improve agriculture in rural Afghanistan. This initiative aims to increase employment, income and business opportunities primarily targeting rural masses through the design, facilitation and implementation of commercially viable value chains supplemented with rural infrastructure projects in the target provinces of Afghanistan. As part of its technical assistance CARDF is providing trainings on land preparation, sowing, planting, irrigation, weeding, integrated pest and disease management, fertilizer application and best practices in harvest and postharvest management.
“CARD-F’s trainings and technical assistance have empowered me so much that I am earning much more in this season than any season before” said Mohammad Asif. “Now I have become popular in my village and others are trying to follow me to increase their production” he added.
This initiative will also demonstrate that licit sources of income can have a significant yield if proper agriculture practices are applied. CARD-F is planning to further promote the modern agricultural practices in Kishm and Khash districts of Badakhshan province in order to encompass more farmers in its activities and to prevent them from receding into poppy cultivation.
Mohammad Asif will lead a productive life from now on. As a result of CARD-F’s technical assistance Asif has harvested 198 MTs of Onion this season from his land. Next year he will aim even higher. This will become a sustainable source of income for his family which will prevent them from receding into poppy cultivation.