Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

FEATURE STORY

Farmers See Pay Off in Adopting Modern Methods in Herat Province

November 9, 2016

Image

A farmer grows and prunes his 14 hectares of apricots, peaches, plums, and 42 varieties of grapes. Agriculture is the primary source of income and livelihood in Herat.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Story Highlights
  • Farmers in Herat Province see the benefits of modern drying houses that produce better quality raisins in a shorter timer thus commanding higher prices in the market.
  • Over 300 modern raisin drying houses have been built across Afghanistan under the National Horticulture and Livestock Project, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock.
  • The project, which aims to promote the adoption of improved production practices by target farmers, is supported by a grant from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).

ENJIL DISTRICT, Herat Province – The humid air clings to Alaudin, 45, who is soaked in sweat. He is surveying his grapes, walking among the vines and pruning dead branches. He owns a 70-jerib orchard (14 hectares), on which he grows apricots, peaches, plums, and 42 varieties of grapes.

In a corner of Alaudin’s orchard in Nangabad village, among the green vines, sits a newly built raisin drying house. Inside, a network of chords hangs from iron stands, on which Alaudin places bunches of grape for seven to 10 days, during which time they turn to raisins.

Nangabad village lies in Enjil district, 25 kilometers from Herat city, the provincial capital. Agriculture is the village’s primary source of income and livelihood, and the majority of the villagers are farmers, growing mostly grapes. The grapes are dried to raisins before being sold in Herat city markets.

“In the past we used traditional raisin drying houses where it took longer for the grapes to dry into raisins. The quality was not good and many of our grapes rotted,” says Alaudin. “Using the new drying house, the color and quality of our raisins have improved, less dust settles on the grapes and a larger amount turn to raisins in a shorter period of time.”

Another farmer Gul Ahmad, 48, agrees that the modern drying houses are more efficient. Taking a break from work under the shade of a drying house, he explains: “Our traditional raisin drying houses lacked space. We could only turn a limited amount of our grapes into raisins at any given time. They needed 15-25 days to turn into raisins.”

“Now we can dry 10 tons of grapes into 2.5 tons of raisins in only 10 days using the modern drying house. The wind reaches all the grapes evenly and they dry and turn into raisins much faster.”


Image

Inside the drying houses, a network of chords hangs from iron stands, on which the farmer places bunches of grape for seven to 10 days, during which time they turn to raisins.

 

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

" Using the new drying house, the color and quality of our raisins have improved, less dust settles on the grapes and a larger amount turn to raisins in a shorter period of time.  "

Alaudin

Farmer, Nangabad village

Image

The construction of modern raisin drying houses in Herat Province has led to an increase in income for the farmers. Raisins dried in the traditional drying houses lacked a fine color and quality, and, could not be sold at a good price in the market. With the modern drying houses, the higher quality raisins command a better price at 10-15 afghanis more per kilogram.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

The modern drying houses have been built under the National Horticulture and Livestock Project (NHLP), implemented by theMinistry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). With a $100 million grant support from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), NHLP is working towards the overarching goal of increased productivity and overall production of horticultural products.

The project aims to promote adoption of improved production practices by target farmers, with gradual rollout of farmer-centric agricultural services systems and investment support across the country. Its activities are currently implemented in 120 districts in 23 target provinces, numbers that may grow as conditions warrant.

NHLP began its activities in Herat Province in 2013 and is active in six districts, with another two in the pipeline. It has built 300 raisin drying houses and established 1,824 jeribs (about 365 hectares) of new farmland to grow a variety of nuts and fruits across the province.

In Enjil district, NHLP has built 22 raisin drying houses, while another 43 are in construction and scheduled to be operational in 2016. NHLP constructs the raisin drying houses at the request of local farmers. In the first year of a project, NHLP pays 75 percent of construction costs and local farmers pay the remaining 25 percent. In the subsequent years, NHLP pays 50 percent of the costs, while farmers cover the other half. Alaudin contributed 25 percent of the total cost of 460,000 afghanis (nearly $6,600) of building his drying house, which took six months to complete.  

The construction of modern raisin drying houses in Herat Province has led to an increase in income for the farmers. Raisins dried in the traditional drying houses lacked a fine color and quality, and, could not be sold at a good price in the market. With the modern drying houses, the higher quality raisins command a better price at 10-15 afghanis more per kilogram.

NHLP engineer Mohammad Yosuf Ghoriani observes that efforts by NHLP have led to many traditional orchards becoming modern ones, applying new horticultural methods and using new and improved varieties of plants.

 



Api
Api