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One of the main reason wheat crop low yield / production in Khamab district is lack and access to improved seeds. Introduce improved (climate resilient) and implementing production practices are beneficial for farmers through bountiful harvests and efficient farming practices in Khamab district. Access to improved wheat seed is one of the expected outcomes of the extensive range of actions carried out by the REALISE project to increase wheat production and productivity in Khamab district of Jawzjan province. The project is funded by government of Australia through AACRS scheme being implemented by People’s Action for Change (PAC) in partnership with Actionaid Afghanistan/ Australia.

Dawlat Agha, 47 Nawabad Watani village of Khamab district has more than 20 years’ experience in agriculture and farming activity, said “I’m very thankful from my village and district level elders & authority for nominating me as one of lead farmers in Khamab district to crop the breeder (foundation) wheat and extend the practical result to other farmers in Khamab district. From very young age I had desired to be a successful farmer, so every year I do cultivate wheat, barley, cumin, sesame, melon, and water-melon and so on. But the harvests haven’t sufficient to compensate my family need /consumption. I’m head of my family with 11 members. I can bear & contribute  up 75% of my family requirement through farming income and the rest comes from other sources. My daughters are carpet weavers and my elder son is skilled labor,   making mud wad and masonry work. Their incomes contribute to our family deficit.”

He further added, “Due to lack of improved seed and agricultural agriculture effective farming knowledge farmers like me cannot have good production / harvest, therefore most of the farmer disappointment and discouraged of agriculture farming which is main income source or their livelihood. In addition lack of proper irrigation system, pest management and coping mechanism for agricultural disease, tremendously reduces the production and agriculture income, thus, our young generation not interested in agriculture farming/ business. In the other hand natural disaster like Amo-river overflow increase soil salinity damages our crops and future hope. I witnessed of last year that 60% of farmers lost their agricultural farms, because the Amo-river overflow hit & washed their farming field and crops. The AMO river water overflows not only damage crops and farming field but also destroyed many houses, canals blocked by mud and clay, and even schools remained closed for some period of time.”

 

Through REALISE project, two most desirable & interested farmers in coordination with district level DAIL, DDA and FSN identified as lead farmers to cultivate and produce improved seed within district.  Three partied agreement among DAIL, Lead farmers and PAC signed, wherein role and responsibility of each parties defined clearly. According to the agreement the lead farmers should retain 80% of harvested seed to PAC for distributing to other farmers and keep 20% for himself for next year cultivation. So PAC with the support of ICARDA provided me breeder (foundation) wheat seed, Maqaom 09 variety which is more adoptable with Khamab climate. PAC provided me with fertilizer and technical support and district level DAIL guided me in all stages from beginning to end.

 

Dawlat Agha says, “I learned lots of things from this initiative / activity such as land preparation, the sower seed in row cultivation method, irrigation, the importance of removing additional grass, reaping, cutting and harvesting. The harvest / production from cultivated seed was amazing, it was almost 5 times more than we normally used to get every year. Usually we used to get 160 kg from same amount of land but I could harvest  783 kg from this cultivated seed.”