Successful completion of project design to reduce poverty in Afghanistan

We have successfully completed the design of a new Asian Development Fund/EU funded investment project with total funding of US$76 million in Afghanistan. The design has been completed both on time and within budget, and has now been approved by the Asian Development Fund board for implementation.

The Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project will increase agricultural productivity in the Panj-Amu River Basin through improving access and use of water at farm, scheme and river levels. The project supports the government’s strategy, which aims to increase per-capita income and reduce poverty among rural and pastoral communities.

Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries in the world; the poverty headcount rate is 39%. While 79% of the national work force depends on agriculture for a living, only 12% (or 64.4 million hectares (ha)) of the country's terrain is arable. Limited access to irrigation water and sporadic irrigation has been the primary cause for crop yields below the world average.  

The project will improve cropping intensities, irrigated areas, and crop yields on a command area of 74,500 ha. As a result, annual farm incomes will increase in the range of $123-615 per household for over 55,000 households, and approximately 11,000 full-time rural jobs will be created per annum, with an estimated value of $10.4 million per annum.

We will also see an improvement in food security, as home-grown wheat takes the place of imported food stuffs, leading to greater food self-sufficiency, as well as an increase in exports of high-value products such as fruit and nuts. The project will also create more economic opportunities for agribusiness development, particularly for input suppliers and processors of agricultural products and for market intermediaries.

For further details on the project please click here.