Fund for strengthening rural livelihood systems

Project description

Title: Fund for strengthening rural livelihood systems
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)
Overall term: 2012 to 2015

Context
Many people in the north of Afghanistan are bitterly poor. In many areas, the inadequate infrastructure makes it extremely difficult for people to get to the market. Even if the harvest is good, agricultural yields barely suffice to secure people’s immediate food needs. Climatic events, such as droughts, flooding or particularly hard and long winters, only make matters worse. The Afghan Government is not yet able to provide the services required to redress this situation.

Objective
Agricultural and commercial productivity in rural areas in the northern provinces of Afghanistan is enhanced.

Approach
Alongside Afghan and international non-governmental organisations, GIZ is using the resources from the Fund for Strengthening Rural Livelihood Systems (SLS) to implement rural development projects in the provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Badakhshan, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Samangan and Takhar.

Agricultural extension officers have advised local farmers on how to raise the productivity of their potato, onion, sorghum and wheat crops. They have introduced new farming techniques, distributed better quality seed, constructed storage depots and shared irrigation know-how.

The experts have also introduced modern livestock farming technologies and instructed around 300 women in livestock and dairy farming. In Jalalabad, numerous families have taken part in training in growing and processing roses.

In the Aybak Training Centre in Samangan Province, 100 women have learned how to improve their weaving techniques and so produce higher-quality carpets. The towns of Farghambol and Baharak in Badakhshan Province now have electricity, enabling workshops and small-scale enterprises to improve production and reduce costs. The German Government has used the fund to finance numerous infrastructure projects in the water sector. The activities include giving an entire village access to drinking water, providing water supplies for livestock and constructing agricultural irrigation systems.

Results
The new storage depots allow farmers to protect their produce more effectively from post-harvest damage and also enable them to delay selling their produce until much later when they can obtain a higher price.

In Jalalabad, rose growing provides a living for some 700 families. Using a distillation plant, they extract high-quality, certified organic rose oil from the petals, which they then export. In 2011, the average annual income of a rose farmer here was at least EUR 400.

Women whose weaving techniques were improved by the project’s training courses have since passed on their skills to other women in their families. The upshot: carpet-making has increased these families’ income by up to EUR 120 a month.

Having an electricity supply in Farghambol and Baharak has significantly increased earnings in the workshops and small-scale enterprises there by ending their reliance on expensive diesel generators for power.

Contact

Helma Zeh-Gasser
helma.zeh-gasser@giz.de