What is AAIP

Afghanistan Agricultural Inputs Project (AAIP) is one of the main projects of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan - MAIL.

Afghanistan is highly dependent on agriculture. For a countrywide development, supporting agriculture is vitally important. Technology in this sector has been greatly developed and upgraded. This in turns has significantly improved agriculture products. In order to increase productivity, we shall have access to new varieties of seed, new experiments and conduct research. In other word, experiments and research centers are imperative for any development. With a unique climate and geographic location, an extensive research is required to improve agriculture sector of Afghanistan. Research centers also play an important role in educating and training next generations upon whom tomorrow depends. Supporting research institutions means supporting the very life of each Afghan. We have such centers but quality matters. Research institutions and farms are not the only prerequisite to produce and preserve standard agricultural products. Quarantine stations should be built in all points where imports and exports passing through. This is mainly aimed to comply with World Trade Organization accession requirement for exporting agricultural products. Furthermore, pesticide quality control, formulation, and residue testing laboratories as well as fertilizer quality and formulation laboratories are equally important. Besides that, to meet a dynamic nature of agribusiness, a thorough review of relevant regulatory framework deems necessary.

Afghanistan founded Agriculture Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA) in 1959 but not the other auxiliaries at least util 2013. Because of instability in country, the research institute still lacks professional and skilled labors, required technology, infrastructure, machinery, financial support, laboratories, proper arable land, irrigation system and innovative research programs. Besides that, Afghanistan needs proper plant protection and quarantine stations as well.

After meticulously analyzing ground reality in terms of agriculture, the government of Afghanistan identified the alarming situation and requested World Bank for cooperation. The World Bank envisioned a proper response by introducing Afghanistan Agriculture Inputs Project in mid 2013.

AAIP has targeted specific parts of agriculture. They include research farm rehabilitation, laboratories and plant protection system, capacity building, quarantine network, wheat research experiments, farm machineries and technical assistance.

AAIP has been successfully executing its plan so far with satisfactory result from both the MAIL and World Bank. For research farm rehabilitation, technical survey and architectural designs of the regional research farms completed and their infrastructures establishment is in progress. AAIP has also hired expert staff to support 10 regional research farms and Improved Seed Enterprises (ISE) both technically and operationally.

As a proactive measure, AAIP has been establishing a Complex of laboratories. The complex consists of 13 laboratories is aimed to prevent low quality pesticides, fertilizers and diagnose diseases. The project has also initiated to establish Quarantine Network system throughout the country particularly in border-crossing regions plus Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul custom and Post parcel. This already underway network aims to quarantine, control, check plant pests and diseases, and issue sanitary & phyto sanitary certificates. This directly promotes quality agricultural materials mainly exports which guarantees sustainable development of national economy.

Pertaining to the capacity building, AAIP has been funding 47 Master and 2 PhD degree scholars of ARIA, ISE, and Plant Protection & Quarantine Department (PPQD/MAIL) who are currently studying in India. It has also facilitated in-country trainings for 233 staff and international trainings for 16 ARIA staff in India. The project has planned to train around 7,000 people in-country and 165 international trainings. This project has also supplied heavy and light machineries to Agriculture Research Institute of Afghanistan and ISE.  Furnishing and equipping of ARIA and ISE are also part of this support.

AAIP has also prioritized to thoroughly review regulatory framework of agriculture. Pesticide law and regulation have been updated and the amended versions have been processed and endorsed. Fertilization law has been drafted and now passing through due procedure to become law.

After accomplishing the goals, Afghanistan will have had fully equipped agriculture research institute. It will be effectively run by specialized and qualified staff. This could yield better outcome in terms of varieties and seeds. As a result of continuous experiments, it shall produce highly yielding and resistant wheat varieties and quality breeder seed which better suit in climate and land of Afghanistan.

Besides that, having a proper and functional quarantine system in place, any agricultural exports and imports will be fully guaranteed in terms of quality and this will boost overall export of Afghanistan particularly from agriculture perspective. Finally, successful establishment of Complex of laboratories will make us able to control any epidemic diseases. It will enhance our capability to prevent low quality products and introduce more productive pesticides and fertilizers.