Afghanistan PEACE Project

"Reducing Risk for the Kuchi People"

After the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, Afghanistan faced major challenges in rebuilding the agriculture sector. Emerging from more than 20 years of conflict, exacerbated by years of drought, the agriculture economy was ruined. Afghanistan's food production capacity was damaged and farmers and nomads were impoverished. A country that once boasted an agricultural sector that contributed to more than 80 percent of the national income was now heavily dependent on food aid from international donors.

Challenges for development in the livestock sector and especially pastoral development among the nomadic herders, known as Kuchi, are especially daunting. Years of conflict and drought have severely affected nomadic pastoral production systems. Traditional migration routes were disrupted, rangelands were plowed up to plant crops, access to grazing land for the Kuchi declined, and many livestock were lost. The Kuchi saw their livelihoods greatly eroded, and even the most vulnerable have received little support to-date from the Government or the international community. The lack of information on rangeland condition and livestock market values, the use of unsustainable management practices and, conflict over grazing access are hampering livestock production.

In response to requests made by the Afghanistan Government, the PEACE Project was initiated in July 2006 to address issues negatively affecting livestock production within the country. The Project aims to reduce the social and economic risks associated with livestock production in Afghanistan. It will do this by providing more timely information on emerging forage conditions and market prices, and by increasing the number of cash generating livestock enterprises for pastoralists. The PEACE project will also facilitate conflict resolution processes within pastoral communities across Afghanistan.

The Peace Project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Afghanistan Agriculture Program Sector, under the terms of Award no. 306-A-00-06-00521-00.