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Image: Food on the table

Food on the table

Most of NAC’s work on natural resource management is intimately linked to food security, and vice versa. By improving pasturelands and using them sustainably farmers increase their food security. And growing vegetables at home can ease the strain on vulnerable pastures and provide a more varied diet.

NAC teaches local men and women the best techniques to grow fruit 
and vegetables in their areas or in their homes. It has also conducted 

experiments with new varieties of wheat and introduced new potato breeds. Last but not least, NAC enables farmers to grow fodder for their domestic animals, allowing them to keep the animals over winter, rather than selling for a low price when the animals are already underfed in the wintertime.

Kitchen gardens

Women in rural Afghanistan have limited possibilities to work outside the home, but growing vegetables within their own garden enables them to provide to the family’s food security. The women attend a training and receive seeds from NAC staff. Shortly afterwards, the green sprouts of onion, cucumber, leek, radish, coriander, turnip, cabbage, spinach, okra, eggplant, lettuce and tomato plants pop up in their gardens. 

Since production always exceeds household needs, women were also trained on vegetable processing and pickling, to have access to the nutritious vegetables during winter as well. Some of the fresh and processed vegetables also find their way to local markets, bringing much needed income.

Aside from its contributions to household economies, the vegetables have helped reduce micronutrient deficiency among children. Contributing to the household economy also helps elevate the status of women in the family. 

Higher yields in horticulture

Photo: Farshad Tami - Farmer weeding his wheat field in Faryab

In remote areas of Badakhshan, farmers continue to use low-yielding varieties of potatoes and cultivation patterns that further reduce productivity. Likewise, high-value fruit trees such as apples, pears, almonds and pistachios are cultivated without sustainable and productive orchard management practices.

To promote new and sustainable technologies in the cultivation and management of fruit farms, NAC provides fruit tree saplings to farmers in Badahkshan and Ghazni, for them to establish demonstration orchards in their farms. These will serve as learning centres for other farmers, who own or plan to establish orchards. NAC staff provide technical guidance to the demonstration farmers on farm layout, fertilisation and other practices. NAC is also working with large scale potato farmers in Badakhshan, aiming to develop local sources of potato seeds, which will be distributed to other farmers in the province.

In both potato production and orchard establishment, the sustainable practice of integrated pest management is highly emphasised, together with composting and other indigenous methods of producing fertilisers. 

Fodder and vaccination for animals

For most pasturalist families, losing animals means losing the main source of food and money. Yet, few animals get vaccinated for common diseases. In addition, many animals don’t survive the winter because the farmers can’t produce or harvest fodder for them and don’t have a suitable stable.

NAC distributes seeds for a highly nutritious variety of alfalfa to farmers, who are also trained to collect and store seeds. To ensure improved animal health, CDCs in Ghazni province did an awareness campaign on livestock vaccination. In 2014 alone, 16,371 cattle, sheep and goats were vaccinated throughout the province. Since the start of the IRD II programme in 2013, the number of farmers losing livestock has been halved. 

NAC’s activities on natural resource management are a part of the Integrated Rural Development programme.

Norwegian Afghanistan Committee
Addresse:  Nawai Watt, Street # 03 •  Postal addresse:
work # 148 Shahr-i-Naw, KabulAfghanistan

Please donate to bank account 7877. 06. 53737 • Last modified 20.10.19
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