Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives — North, East and West (IDEA-NEW)

Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives — North, East and West (IDEA-NEW)

Donor: USAID

Budget: $60,000,000 in implementing funds

Duration: March 2, 2009 to March 1, 2014

Locations: Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman,
Nangarhar, Nuristan, Samangan, Sari Pul, and Takhar Provinces. Exploring expansion into Bamyan and
Parwan provinces

Status: Ongoing

IDEA-NEW targets all agricultural framework components including agriculture production, rural enterprise and infrastructure development, financial service access and value-chain development for key regional industries and trade corridors. At every step, IDEA-NEW works in collaboration with national, provincial and district level offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), as well as provincial Governors’ offices.

Rural Infrastructure

  • Farm to market infrastructure
  • Flood protection
  • Irrigation and water management infrastructure
  • Power

Sustainable Agricultural Production

  • Annual crops
  • Livestock improvement
  • Natural resource management
  • Perennial crops
  • Strengthening capacity

Enterprise Development

  • Association support
  • Beekeeping
  • Dairy processing
  • Market linkages
  • Poultry
  • Processing and marketing
  • Retailers / input suppliers
  • Silk / silkworm rearing
  • Textiles and handicrafts

Capacity Building
Grants & Contracts

Progress/ Achievements
Job Creation
Since July 2009, IDEA-NEW has created a total of 3,319 labor-intensive rural jobs and employed 27,081 local community members on CCI projects.

  • IDEA-NEW has paid $5.08 million USD in wages to more than 27,081people on CCI projects to date
  • IDEA-NEW has completed 123 CCI projects in its areas of operation including roads, irrigation and micro-hydro power, and as of March 31, 2011, was actively working on 54 more
  • Assisted entrepreneurs to start more than 1,751 rural enterprises for men and women throughout the program.

Agriculture Productivity and Agribusiness:

  • Established more than 250 commercial and small-sized resource farms used as training grounds, where farmers are trained in collaboration with MAIL on modern crop techniques like raised beds and staggered planting. Some 276,546 people have been trained on these farms and through other agriculture and livestock training programs.
  • A total of 9,932 ha of cropland have been brought under irrigation in IDEA-NEW targeted area.
  • The project multiplied two MAIL-certified varieties of mung-bean for distribution to more than 15,000 farmers.
  • More than 30,000 farmers in Eastern Region participated in voucher distribution programs for improved vegetable varieties. Thirteen thousand farmers participating in this program from spring 2010 and increased their revenues over 2009 by more than $3.4 million collectively.
  • More than 8 million kgs of onions exported to Pakistan by Afghan traders for export revenues of $2.8million USD.
  • 1,941,405 livestock are under increased management/care as a result of IDEA-NEW interventions; this has included de-worming and other activities in close concert with local paravets.
  • 93,836 farmers trained on melon fly awareness in Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Samangan and Sari Pul provinces.
  • 4 concrete trellis post manufacturing enterprises established in Faryab, Sari Pul and Samangan provinces.
  • 463 women micro enterprises established and trained on silkworm rearing in five Northern provinces.
  • 52 km road rehabilitated that connecting Bilchiragh, Gurziwan and Pashtun Kot districts to Maymana City.

Capacity Building:

  • Partnering with MAIL provincial and district offices, a total of 103,917 MAIL staff and farmers were trained on melon-fly control in the West, North and Northeast regions. An impact study completed in November 2009 showed IDEA-NEW’s melon fly training program is increasing participant farmers’ yields by 113% and sales by 46%.
  • A total of 4,052 persons have received business skills training (1,333 men, 2,719 women).
  • A total of 1,053 government line staff members have received training and capacity building related to their jobs.
  • Established 6 Ag Retail Associations across the Northern Provinces, who are working with 117 Ag Retailers to increase sales.
  • Provided technical assistance and training to 12 associations in its areas of operation, including for fruit growers, talc miners, beekeepers, women’s handicrafts and others.

USG and GIROA Coordination:

  • Livestock De-worming Campaign in Faryab was implemented in concert with US Army Special Forces, MAIL, USAID’s Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program’s Veterinary Field Units and local, privatepara-veterinarians. In total 266,605 animals were de-wormed in 14 of Faryab’s districts.
  • Collaborating with MAIL and the Nangarhar PRT to cultivate eight varieties of wheat breeder seeds through MAIL’s Nangarhar Valley Development Authority (NVDA) on 100 ha of government-owned land in Farm-E-Ghaziabad of Nangarhar. The project is expected to provide 250-300 tons of foundationseeds for wheat seed production enterprises and companies, including village-based seed enterprisesoperating throughout the province. These companies will replicate the foundation seeds and produce more than 6,000 tons of certified wheat seeds for farmers across Nangarhar province in 2010.
  • Collaboration with USAID’s ASMED project to strengthen the poultry value chain by establishing a feed mill in Surobi district, Kabul province.
  • Facilitated a plenary workshop for MAIL in 2010 in which all 34 Provincial Directorates participated. The program kicked off a national Agriculture Extension Program for the country, and has been followed up by regional level agriculture extension and the planning, budgeting, implementation and organization of agriculture projects that have been held across the country.

Afghan First:
A total of 97% of IDEA-NEW project staff members are Afghans. IDEA-NEW also prioritizes local procurement, and has procured over $13 million USD from Afghan vendors since June 2009.

In December 2010, IDEA-NEW facilitated contracts with a private Afghan company to supply a major international produce buyer named Supreme. IDEA-NEW is working with producers throughout the country to grow according to Global GAP standards and to provide continuous supply of needed vegetables.


  • Fragile security situation in the rural areas.
  • The tribal disputes sometimes disrupt projects in remote areas.
  • Lack of cold storage, poorly organized system of transportation and lack of electricity in most of the provinces where IDEA-NEW operates.
  • Scarcity of water for irrigation.
  • Farmers are uneducated in rural communities.
  • Limited land ownership by many farmers results in lower incomes for farming families.
  • Constraints in export procedures, both locally and in neighboring countries.
  • Lack protection for the local industries.
  • Lack of information on the supply and demand side in the market and weak communication between relevant government agencies.


Budget and Financial Report by Province