Agriculture in Afghanistan



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Afghan War News > General Info > Development > Agriculture

Afghanistan's economy is primarily agricultural.  The country contends with an insurgency, bad roads to ship produce to market, and inefficient market system, and a corrupt government.  In addition, it is a dry country with little rainfall and frequent droughts.  Approximately 15% of the land is suitable for agriculture; mostly in scattered river valleys. However, only 6% is currently under cultivation.   Food security is a huge concern from a humanitarian as well as counterinsurgency standpoint.

Organizations Promoting Agriculture in Afghanistan

Afghanistan.  United States Department of Agriculture USDA Blog.  Blog posts tagged with "Afghanistan".

Agriculture in Afghanistan.  United States Department of Agriculture resource page for Afghanistan.  Links, fact sheet, job opportunities with USDA in Afghanistan, agricultural news and videos, and an agricultural overview.

Agricultural Development for Afghanistan Pre-deployment Training (ADAPT).  A USDA training program to prepare military and governmental agricultural advisors for their assignment in Afghanistan.

Army National Guard Agriculture Development Teams.  The National Guard's Agribusiness Development Teams are promoting sustainable farming practices in Afghanistan and are an innovative way for Guardmembers to use civilian-acquired skills in the region and Afghanistan to promote food security and help in the COIN fight.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Webpage provides a lot of information about the Afghan agriculture sector to include pasture/forage resource profiles, food safety, animal and plant health, technologies and practices for small agricultural producers, agricultural maps, seed distribution, national livestock census, weather conditions, pest control, and land degradation.

Global Partnership for Afghanistan. This organization works with rural Afghans to create farm businesses that alleviate poverty, build sustainable livelihoods, and renew the environment.

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL).  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan.  World Food Program.

Reports and Publications about Afghanistan Agriculture

(listed in chronological order by date of publication)

October 2018. 15 Years in Afghanistan: A Special Report: 2003-2018, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This 122-page report provides a brief on the state of Afghanistan's agriculture and livestock industries and informs on the many projects that FAO is engaged in Afghanistan.

March 13, 2013. "Learning Rural Engagement: Afghan Agriculture and the Future of Rural Stabilization", Small Wars Journal, by John Groninger and Charles Ruffner. . . .

Singh, Krishna M. and Kumar, Ajay, Strategies for High Value Agriculture Based Livelihood: Application of Participatory Rural Appraisal Approach in Afghanistan (July 30, 2012). Available at SSRN:

USDA at Work for Agriculture in Afghanistan.  Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture, November 2010.  Accessed here.

Adam Pain, Sayed Mohammed Shah, Policymaking in Agriculture and Rural Development in Afghanistan, Afghanistan Research and Evalution Unit (AREU), October 2009.  Accessed here.

Afghanistan Food Security Outlook, USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network, June 2009. Accessed here.

Loren Flaming and Alan Roe, Opportunities for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), June 2009.  Accessed here.

Seed Industry Privatization - Strengthing National Seed Production Capacity in Afghanistan, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Kabul, 2005.  Accessed here.

Ian Christoplos, Out of Step? Agricultural Policy and Afghan Livelihoods, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), May 2004.  Accessed here.

Rebuilding Afghanistan's Agriculture Sector, Asian Development Bank, April 2003.  Accessed here.

Maps about Agriculture in Afghanistan

Agricultural Maps.  Maps of all 34 Afghan provinces.  Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Maps of Afghanistan.  By "The Soil Maps of Asia".  European Digital Archive of Soil Maps - EuDASM.  Maps depicting soil, topography, agriculture, geology, land use, land classification, hydrology, and soil profiles.

Afghanistan Agricultural Maps.  UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Videos about Agriculture in Afghanistan

March 25, 2015. JFPR (Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction Documentary. A 5 min video posted on by the Afghan Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development (MRRD). Topic is on Japanese funded irrigation projects that assist in Afghan agricultural.

News Articles About  Agriculture in Afghanistan

News Releases.  Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA press releases.


March 2, 2016. "Agricultural Research Gives Farmers a New Lease on Life", The World Bank.

November 24, 2015. "Food prices rise sharply after fighing disrupts Afghan harvest", IRIN. This is especially true in northern Afghanistan; especially Kunduz province.

May 9, 2015. "Afghan goat farmers eye luxury niche market for their cashmere, once burned for fuel". U.S. News & World Report.

December 14, 2014. "Afghanistan's future lies with small farmers". The Boston Globe.

December 11, 2014. "Afghanistan's First Soy Milk Factory to be Built with Korean Contribution". World Food Programme.

December 4, 2014. "Helping Afghan farmers regrow the economy". PBS Newshour.

December 3, 2014. "Afghanistan: Can pomegranates power the economy?" BBC News.

December 2, 2014. "Afghan Raisin Producers Hope for Sweeter Future". Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

November 29, 2014. "India provides soil research service to Afghanistan and Nepal". Sify News.

November 25, 2014. "The social life of the onion: the informal regulation of the onion market in Nangarhar, Afghanistan". Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.

November 21, 2014. "WSU part of team earning national honor for Afghan aid". WSU News. Washington State University received recognition for efforts on the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Program (AAEP).

July 19, 2014. "Brattleboro scientist returns from Afghanistan". Brattleboro Reformer. Drew Adam completes his second tour in Afghanistan.

February 5, 2014. "Afghan farmers now feeding U.S. troops". Army Times.

February 4, 2014. "Sowing seeds of hope: Nebraska Guard team mentors Afghan ag officials". Omaha World Herald. National Guard Agibusiness Development Team chats about their training and experience on Afghan deployment.

February 1, 2014. "University readies another Afghan training program". AgStop. Purdue University partners with Herat University for an agricultural program.

September 10, 2013. "In Afghan agriculture, fruits of labor uncertain". Portland Press Herald. A U.S. funded program to grow and market grapes to be handed over to Afghans.

August 12, 2013. "Saving Afghanistan's Economy: The 1818 Model". The Diplomat.

May 13, 2013. "Wisconsin National Guard agribusiness team returns from Afghanistan". DVIDS. 97th Agribusiness Development Team returns from deployment.

February 9, 2013. "SC Guard unit wrapping up Afghan agriculture help". ABC News 4.

November 2, 2012. "Troops enjoy MSU beef donated by Beef Council". ERS CattleNetwork. Mississippi National Guard troops training Afghans.

October 24, 2012. "5th Agriculture Team Departs for Afghanistan". The State Journal - Kentucky National Guard. ADT 5 to deploy.

September 18, 2012. "Nebraska native mentors Afghan farmers". DVIDS.

September 12, 2012.  "Missouri National Guard soldiers arrive home". The Missouri Agribusiness Development Team IV returns from an Afghanistan deployment.

August 7, 2012.  "The Military and Ag Development in Afghanistan".  The Progressive Farmer.

July 31, 2012. "Kentucky ADT 4's veterinarian training programs score big with Afghan locals".  DVIDS.

May 21, 2012. "Purdue professors work to improve agriculture education in Afghanistan". The Exponent Online.

March 28, 2012.  "Agricultural development team trains for deployment". DVIDS.

March 27, 2012.  "Planting Peppers Not Poppies in Afghanistan".

March 2012.  "Dairy goat project improves women's welfare in Afghanistan".  International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

March 18, 2012.  "SC Army National Guard agribusiness development team heads to Afghanistan for 1 year".  The Republic.

March 12, 2012.  "Missouri Agribusiness Development Team Departs for Afghanistan".  National Guard.

March 8, 2012.  "Agribusiness Development Team leaves for Afghanistan March 9".  Missouri National Guard ADT to deploy to Nangarhar Province.

March 7, 2012.  "US military agriculture team succeeds despite Taliban".  Western Farm Press.

March 6, 2012.  "National Guard to train Afghans on ag".  Green Bay Press Gazette.  News on the 82nd Agribusiness Development Team.

March 2, 2012. "Afghan partners take lead role in Zabul province veterinary seminar".  DVIDS.  Afghan DAIL representatives organize veterinary seminar and animal innoculation program.

February 18, 2012.  "Guard unit to train Afghans about agriculture".  Wisconsin Army National Guard to deploy the 82nd Agribusiness Development Team.  Army Times.

February 15, 2012.  "Soldiers Study at Conner Prairie for Afghanistan Assignment".  Indiana ARNG learns blacksmithing skills.  TV6ABC Indiana News.

February 10, 2012.  "$20M aid plan for Afghanistan's poorest people".  The Sydney Morning Herald.

February 9, 2012.  "Wisconsin Guard unit returns from sneak peek at Afghanistan deployment".  Agri-View.

February 8, 2012.  "US soldiers train for agricultural mission in Afghanistan".  Fox News.

February 8, 2012.  "Afghanistan: Kansas National Guard ADT gives Arbor Day gifts to locals".  National Guard News.

December 20, 2011.  "USDA Course Improves Training for Agricultural Development in Afghanistan".  USDA Blog.

January 2010.  "Fact Sheet: USDA at Work for Agriculture in Afghanistan".  USDA.

May 26, 2009.  "Nourishing Afghanistan's Agricultural Sector".  Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder.

May 7, 2009.  $27.5 Million for Pakistan and Afghanistan Through Food for Progress Program.  USDA News Release.


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