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Supporting Afghan Agriculture

OVERVIEW:

Oak Grove provided culturally aware agriculture advisors in support of Village Stability Operations (VSO) and integrated Civil-Military Operations (CMO) in Afghanistan. The advisors provided mentorship to the Afghan community to increase the quality and quantity of crops produced, identify villages and districts in need of agricultural preservation techniques, and implemented training programs to teach basic crop preservation techniques. They also developed regionally focused programs and implemented district-level projects to connect farmers to markets and agriculture expertise through activities such as trade fair attendance, agriculture market information systems, model farm builds, and master farmer training. These activities generated profit and overall sustainability for Afghan farmers.

CHALLENGE:

The challenges of this project were multifaceted. The primary challenge was having the agriculture advisors accepted by the local community of Afghan farmers so that they could help them with their farms. Goals were to increase the quality and quantity of crops produced through activities such as demonstration plots, commodity-specific extension activities, or introduction of new crops/production technologies by traveling to meet farmers where they live and work.

First, advisors had to identify villages and districts in need of agricultural preservation techniques such as crop preservation, canning and drying. Then they implemented a training program to teach basic crop preservation techniques that are appropriate for the level of technology and sophistication available to the village subsistence farmer.

SOLUTION:

Because the advisors were culturally aware, they were able to establish relationships within the local farming community built on trust and respect. By demonstrating culturally appropriate behavior, the advisors were accepted as mentors and able to provide advice to the Afghan community to increase the quality and quantity of crops produced, identify villages and districts in need of agricultural preservation techniques, and implement training programs to teach basic crop preservation techniques. These activities are sustained by the appropriate level of technology and sophistication available to the village subsistence farmer. The advisors develop regionally focused programs and implement district-level projects to connect farmers to markets and agriculture expertise through activities such as trade fair attendance, agriculture market information systems, model farm builds, and master farmer training. These activities generate profit and overall sustainability for Afghan farmers.

CLIENT:

U.S. Army

MARKET:

Department of Defense

NATURE OF WORK:

Sustainability

RESULTS:

By being culturally aware and demonstrating appropriate and respectful behavior, the agricultural mentors expertise was accepted by the local community through activities such as trade fair attendance, agriculture market information systems, model farm builds, and master farmer training, the advisors gained the trust and respect of the local farmers in order for them to develop regionally focused programs and implemented district-level projects to connect their neighbors to markets and agriculture. These activities have and will continue to generate profit and overall sustainability for Afghan farmers so that they do not resort to illegal activities to make a living.

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