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FEATURE STORY

Rural Development Program Modernizes Animal Husbandry in Nangarhar Province

May 18, 2015

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Hamid is grateful for the training he received through the  Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Developement Program.

Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

Story Highlights
  • Rural enterprises in Nangarhar Province are expanding capacity and raising revenue with the help of a rural development program that provides training and technical support.
  • The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program, implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development and Rehabilitation, provides support to small and medium enterprises that have been selected for their potential as key drivers of rural employment and income generation.
  • The program receives funding support from the World Bank and Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).

BEHSOUD DISTRICT, Nangarhar Province –Abdul Hamid, 42, has learnt more in 12 months than he has ever had in over a decade of working in animal husbandry. Hamid, who was forced to close his own poultry business, now runs his uncle’s farm, increasing its income by a third.

Hamid says he has learned a significant amount about farming as a result of the training over the past year provided through the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP), implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development and Rehabilitation.

“The AREDP training programs have been very useful to me,” he affirms. “Over the past year, I have learned more than in a decade of working and experiencing these issues. Now, in addition to managing my uncle’s farm, I am a trainer in programs in Kabul and Nangarhar Provinces.”

The AREDP receives funding support from the World Bank and Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). Started in 2010, AREDP works towards strengthening market linkages and value chains for rural enterprises by providing technical support to over 1,400 Enterprise Groups (63 percent female) and 500 Small Medium Enterprises (14 percent female) that have been selected for their potential as key drivers of rural employment and income generation.

In January 2014, Hamid visited farms and received training in India through the AREDP. “In India, I saw modern farms and realized that in Afghanistan, we lag 20 years behind in poultry and cattle farming.” Hamid says.

It was this previous lack of knowledge on modern husbandry practices that led Hamid to close his own poultry business. “Because of financial losses, my poultry business was shut down prior to my trip to India and I lost more than 900,000 Afghanis (almost $16,000). But now, on my uncle’s farm, I have started the business more forcefully,” he says.


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Farmer feeds cattle on the farm.

Rumi Consultancy/World Bank

" “The AREDP training programs have been very useful to me. Over the past year, I have learned more than in a decade of working and experiencing these issues.” "

Abdul Hamidullah

Farm manager, Behsoud district

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The number of livestock on Hashimi farm have increased as a result of Hamid's training in India.

Rumi Consultancy/World Bank

Safe environment for livestock

The result of putting his experience in India into practice at Hashimi Farm is an expansion of livestock, leading to an increase in the farm’s annual income to $18,000, a rise of thirty percent. The three-hectare farm in Qala-e-Pir Sahib village in the Behsoud district of Nangarhar Province raises more than 25,000 fish, 7,000 chickens and over 30 cattle annually.

“In the past, we kept nine enclosures of fish, but now we have 14,” he explains. “Our farm previously could accommodate only 20 cows, but it can now accommodate up to 100. We have also created seven new jobs. We have greatly benefited from this training program, and it has allowed us to expand significantly.”

Shir Afzal, who also works on Hashimi Farm, particularly enjoys caring for the farm’s fish. He and his junior co-workers receive salaries of approximately $100 per month. “We keep 1,500 to 2,000 fish in each enclosure,” he says. “The fish are very small when they arrive here. We raise them for about a year, then sell them on the market when they grow to be one to two kilograms in weight.”

Hamid’s brother, Abdul Mateen, 43, has not been as fortunate, mainly because he did not enroll in the AREDP program to learn how to create a safe environment for his livestock. Despite 20 years of experience of raising livestock, Mateen went bankrupt and was forced to shut down his three-hectare farm in Qala-e-Pir Sahib village when his chickens and cattle died of disease. He now regrets not registering his business under AREDP.

“I invested a lot in my business, and used its profits to support my family of 12,” Mateen says. “The farm was very profitable in the past, but we eventually came up short financially.” 


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