The objective of this project is to increase the production of maize and wheat in Afghanistan by introducing seed of improved varieties tolerant to drought, adapted to diverse agro climatic zones of the country, seed dissemination and improved agronomic practices. Innovative and multi-participatory nodes, capacity building of Afghan scientists and non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan, as well as an annual participatory workshop.
The project’s goals include increasing the dissemination and production of high-yielding and disease-resistant corn and wheat varieties and improved agronomic practices; train a greater number of scientists and extension agents in Afghanistan; improve communication between national and international partners; and increase the capacity of national programs so that they can continue with these activities after the project ends.
It is a collaborative effort mainly with the Afghan Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) and leading international organizations such as the International Center for Agricultural Research in Arid Areas and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, national partners, extension agents and, much more important, with Afghan farmers.
- The national program focuses on agroforestry intensification and better water use.
- Links will be established between the improvement of varieties and agronomy, the production of forages for small ruminants, and a better management of community basins.
- The collaborators of the ACIAR project will work with already established programs of agricultural extension and community development to promote the adoption of these results.
Wheat contributes 60% of the average caloric intake of the Afghan population, but domestic production is not enough to meet the demand for grain. This happens, in part, because more than 50% of the wheat crop is seasonal and the rains are usually scarce or irregular. Another reason is that many farmers grow only wheat, which puts them in a situation of economic vulnerability and food insecurity.