Seed cultivation success boosts crops and revenue in western Afghanistan

Herat SPCD staff testing the seeds in their laboratory for certification.

Herat SPCD staff testing the seeds in their laboratory for certification.

The Seed and Planting Materials Certification Directorate (SPCD) project, supported by the Landell Mills-managed EU-funded Transition Project within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, is successfully building the capacities of seed certification companies. The project promotes the production of high-quality certified seeds, which will in turn improve Afghan farmers’ livelihoods. Due to the project’s efforts in raising the awareness of the benefits of choosing certified seeds, the western region has seen an increase in their usage and as a result local farmers’ crops, as well as their revenues, have increased compared to previous years.

One of the companies supported by the SPDC in Herat, The Khawaja Mohammad Mosafer Private Seed and Agricultural Services Company (KMSASC), has experienced a substantial increase in seed production. Mr. Haji Ahmad Farid, CEO of KMSASC, said, “We are processing around 10 tonnes of wheat seed on a daily basis which fulfils the western provinces’ requirements. However, we have potential to produce more certified seeds and sell them to other provinces of Afghanistan.”

KMSASC Company where certified seeds are produced.

KMSASC Company where certified seeds are produced.

The SPCD addresses a lack of awareness about the use and benefits of certified seeds, without which there can be significant losses of wheat and other harvested crops each year. Afghan farmers also face limited access to certified seeds and improved varieties, and lack adequate knowledge of methods to save seeds.

Mr. Enayatullah, the SPCD Regional Manager said, “We are closely monitoring all seed companies in Herat and other western provinces in order to ensure that they produce high-quality seeds for farming.” The SPCD Herat regularly visits companies like KMSASC to observe activities, certify their seeds and provide technical advice to improve seed production. Mr. Haji Ahmad Farid, CEO of KMSASC said, “Should we face any technical problems during the seed certification process, we contact the SPCD staff to assist us. They provide us with excellent technical advice which solves our problems.”