Our Actions in Hazarajat (Wardak districts of Behsud 1 and Behsud 2 and Yakawlang in Bamyan)
Presentation of the Region
The central highlands region has an average altitude of 3000 meters, and is usually isolated by snow during the winter months. The zone, populated by an ethnic minority, the Hazaras (Shiites of Mongolian origin), has traditionally been neglected by both the Afghan authorities and international aid. The deep valleys and canyons in the area only allow for a small portion of the land to be irrigated. On non-irrigated land, livestock play an important role.
Previously, several agricultural activities were implemented to increase food production and sources of income of farmers, in order to improve their food security. Examples of these activities included:
- Introduction of improved potato varieties and optimization of their storage conditions (construction of cellars);
- Testing even more environmentally friendly crops to reduce or eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers and promote the use of organic fertilizers;
- Supporting producers’ groups (farmers, growers, wool spinners) to increase their ability to enhance their products;
- Supporting the operations of demonstration nurseries, organizing regular trainings for private nursery and orchard owners, and supporting the owners with the installation of their own orchards and nurseries. Fruit production includes the following types of trees: apple, peach, pear, apricot, grape, plum, almond, pistachio and walnut. Non-fruit production mainly consists of poplar and pine trees.
- Training women on skills needed to successfully implement culturally-appropriate income-generating activities.
MADERA has been supporting veterinary and para- veterinary networks in Wardak for many years and is recently beginning to work in Bamyan, allowing cattle breeders in the region to benefit from vaccination campaigns and curative care.
Along with these curative actions, livestockactivities include:
- Training farmers on good practices in herd management
- Improving animal stables (promotion and diffusion of improved stables).
- Training AHSPs on Artificial Insemination techniques in order to compensate for the lack of breeder bulls in the area
In 2014, MADERA, GERES and Solidarités International, three French NGOs working in Afghanistan, have come together to implement a 3 1/2 year program, funded by the French development agency (AFD). The aim of the program is to increase the living standards and quality of life for the rural population of the Central Highlands region, through the promotion of rural development and natural resources management.
More details on this program can be found here: