USAID is helping Afghan farmers ensure that this season’s harvest is exceptionally abundant. Thanks to training provided by USAID’s Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives – North, East, West (IDEA-NEW), farmers are using their new agricultural knowledge to produce exceptional crop yields. In Badakhshan Province, farmers received seeds and technical training in bed layout, irrigation, pest control, and harvesting practices. In Takhar, farmers recently began constructing plastic tunnels that will serve as greenhouses for cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage, and tomato crops. Plastic sheeting will cover the tunnels to create a warm environment that extends the growing season, allowing farmers to sell traditionally fall-harvest vegetables in winter and fetch a strong price at the market.
In Badakhshan, where the harvest is already over, farmers who participated in the program praised USAID for its assistance in making this year’s crop yield one of the best they had ever seen. “This year all the other farmers who cultivated onion on their land had a terrible harvest and lost about 50 percent of their crop,” said Abdul Khaliq, a farmer in Langar Village in Badakhshan Province. “But our crops are fine and I will obtain a strong harvest from my onions, as well. I also got the tomato seeds on time and I am sure that I will yield 3,500 kg. I am very happy with the harvest this year overall, and after this training I will be a [better] farmer because I know how to get good benefits from our land.”