BAMYAN CITY, Bamyan Province – Farmer Rajab Ali is walking through his farm and surveying the crops he will harvest in a few days. He has cultivated potatoes, onions, wheat, and a variety of vegetables on his 60-hectare farm this year.
Rajab, who lives in Surkhdar village, in the central district of Bamyan city, is optimistic about having a good harvest this year. A newly reconstructed canal, the Mullah Ghulam canal, in the village is providing efficient and effective irrigation to his crops. Until recently, Rajab’s farm was irrigated by water from a spring close by.
“Before the canal was rebuilt, most of our irrigation water was lost in the old canal and we were ultimately left with an insufficient amount of water for irrigation,” he recalls. “But now more water reaches our farms, which has increased the amount and quality of our crops.”
Mullah Ghulam canal, which was reconstructed to standard specifications between 2011 and 2013, irrigates 60 hectares of farmland. A total of 800 meters of the 3,215-meter long canal is paved with concrete. The project cost of some 1.4 million Afghanis ($21,500) was financed under the On-Farm Water Management Project (OFWMP), under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).
OFWMP has completed 13 projects in Bamyan Province including five in Bamyan city, five in Saighan district, and three in Yakawolang district. One of these projects involved building the Mullah Ghulam, Ligi, and Regsha canals in Surkhdar village.
With a $25 million grant from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), OFWMP aims to support on-farm water management investments in five regions—Kabul, Baghlan, Herat, Nangarhar, and Mazar—covering a total of 19,000 hectares. OFWMP works to improve agricultural productivity in project areas by enhancing the efficiency of water use.