Technologies

Establishment of improved orchards and vineyards [Afghanistan]

Bunyodi boghi va boghi anguri behbudyofta

technologies_669 - Afghanistan

Completeness: 88%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Mirza Bay Gholam Sakhi

Natural Resources Management Comittee (NRMC)

Sari Joy Village, Rustaq District

Afghanistan

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Researcher:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Livelihood Improvement Project Takhar, Afghanistan (LIPT)
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Potential and limitations for improved natural resource management (NRM) in mountain communities in the Rustaq district, Afghanistan (Rustaq NRM Study)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Terre des Hommes (Terre des Hommes) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA / COSUDE / DDC / SDC) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

27/10/2016

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Ja

1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?

Geen

Comments:

SLM practices documented in the frame of the Rustaq NRM study were established only recently (1-3 years ago). It is too early for a final judgment on the sustainability of these technologies within the human and natural environment of Chokar watershed.

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Local and new varieties of fruits are planted on degraded land in accordance with improved management practices. The established orchards and vineyards serve double purpose of soil protection and income generation for the rural households. The alfalfa under the trees supports tree growth and is used for livestock fodder.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

Project supported implementation of improved orchards and vineyards has taken place in the villages Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai, located in Chokar watershed of Rustaq District in Northern Afghanistan. The Chokar watershed is a mountainous area situated between 600 - 2,500 m above sea level. The climate is semi-arid with harsh and cold weather in winter and hot and dry summers. The annual precipitation in average years is 580mm. Land degradation affects all forms of land use and includes low vegetation cover, heavy top soil erosion from water, and poor soil fertility. Unsustainable agricultural practices, over-exploitation and high pressure on the natural resources are adversely impacting on the socio-economic well-being of local communities as well as contributing to the risk for being adversely affected by drought as well as landslides and flash foods triggered by heavy rainfall. The data used for the documentation of the technology is based on field research conducted in Chokar watershed, namely in the villages: Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai. These villages represent the upper, the middle and the lower zone of Chokar watershed, respectively. They differ considerably in access to services and infrastructure, but in general are poorly served. The communities depend on land resources for sustaining their livelihoods. In a good year with high yields, wheat-self-sufficiency lasts about 5 months. The three villages are home to ethnic Qarluq communities. Since 2012 the Livelihood Improvement Project Takhar (LIPT) implemented by Terre des hommes (Tdh) Switzerland has initiated a range of NRM interventions.

The rural population in Rustaq district of Afghanistan traditionally grows local varieties of apples, pears and grapes. Mostly it is subsistence farming with a small-scale local marketing. Shortage of irrigation water and lack of specific knowledge about horticultural and viticulture practices, negatively affects fruit yields. Apart of providing diverse fruits for consumption, orchards are also important for providing fodder for the livestock, retaining soil moisture and protecting the soil from erosion.

The local land users interested in the establishment of improved orchards and vineyards were mobilized through the Natural Resources Management Committees (NRMC) in Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai villages. In addition to the local varieties of pears, apples and grapes, new improved varieties were used for orchards and vineyards on 6.5 ha of degraded land. Such orchards were established inside or close to the villages on mountain slopes with gentle (3-5%) and moderate (6 -15%) steepness. Fruit trees are planted on locally identified dark and light soils, which correspond to moderately deep and loamy soil of medium soil fertility. Considering the medium quality of the soil, the first step of tree plantation is application of organic fertilizer. Afterwards, the plot is designed according to 4m x 4 m spacing between the trees. Under such parameters, on 1 jirib (0.2 ha) of land 125 fruit tree (apple or pear) seedlings are planted. The depth of the planting pits is 60 x 50 cm. The planted tree is watered and the lower trunk is covered with lime and water solution. Alfalfa is sown under the trees to serve as a fodder for the livestock. The orchards are irrigated mostly during summer once a week. In areas where there is shortage of irrigation water the trees are rainfed. Other maintenance activities include pest and disease control provided by a trained local specialist.

The new orchards only recently started giving fruits. The actual fruit yields are expected in 2017-2018. Expected higher yields of improved verities of pears, apples and grapes serves as a strong incentive for the local land users and their families to establish and maintain the orchards. Orchards are very demanding, but their reward is very promising in terms of improved harvest and more opportunities to sell the produce. Some land users have successful experience on their plots and already have fruits in their gardens and plan to enlarge their garden and plant more varieties of fruit trees, such as persimmons. Alfalfa which grows under the trees has important production value, particularly during the early years after the establishment phase, when the trees are too young to give fruits.

Female members of the households, which implemented orchards are also involved in establishing and maintaining orchards and vineyards. They take part in planting trees, watering, hay making and protecting the trees from livestock and people. Their contribution, plays an important part for the successful implementation of improved orchards and vineyards in Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Afghanistan

Region/ State/ Province:

Takhar Province, Rustaq District

Further specification of location:

Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana, Dashti Mirzai

Comments:

This documentation is based on the experiences of SLM implementers from Sari Joy (8 plots), Jawaz Khana, (6 plots), and Dashti Mirzai (3 plots). Additionally insights were gained through interviews with both SLM implementers and observers from all three villages.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Livelihood Improvement Project Takhar (LIPT) supported by Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) from 2012-17

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Cropland

Cropland

  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Agro-pastoralism
Main products/ services:

Apple, pear, almond, grapes, alfalfa

If land use has changed due to the implementation of the Technology, indicate land use before implementation of the Technology:

About half of orchard plots are established on cropland.

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • mixed rainfed-irrigated
Comments:

Often the trees are watered with supplementary irrigation, from irrigation channels, or fetching the water in buckets.

Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • agroforestry

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
  • V2: Grasses and perennial herbaceous plants
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type
Comments:

Many land users establish a fence around their orchards to protect the trees from animal and the fruits from theft.

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
soil erosion by wind

soil erosion by wind

  • Et: loss of topsoil
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
water degradation

water degradation

  • Ha: aridification

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Author:

Aslam Qadamov; Roziya Kirgizbekova

Date:

03/04/2017

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Orchards are established on mountain slopes with gentle (3-5%) and moderate (6-10%) steepness. Considering the medium soil fertility, the first step of tree plantation is application of organic fertilizer. Afterwards, the plot is designed according to 4m x 4 m spacing between rows and trees. Under such parameters, on 1 jirib (0.2 ha) of land 125 fruit tree (apple or pear) seedlings are planted. The depth of the planting pits is 60 x 50 cm. The planted tree is watered and the lower trunk is covered with lime and water solution. Alfalfa is sown under the trees for livestock fodder.

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

1 ha

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • US Dollars
Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:

67.0

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

5.2-5.3 USD per day

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Selection of the area for orchard (Men) Management Fall
2. Applicatoin of manure (Men) Agronomic Fall/Winter
3. Design of tree spacing in the orchard assisted by project staff (Men) Management End of winter
4. Digging pits for planting (Men/Women) Structural Spring
5. Planting of fruit trees (Men/Women) Agronomic Spring
6. Sowing of alfalfa under the trees (Men/Women) Vegetative Spring

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Application of manure person-day 5.0 5.3 26.5 83.0
Labour Design of tree spacing person-day 5.0 5.3 26.5
Labour Digging pits for planting person-day 15.0 5.3 79.5 83.0
Labour Planting trees, sowing alfalfa and watering person-day 10.0 5.3 53.0 83.0
Equipment Meter piece 1.0 2.25 2.25
Equipment Rope Meter 500.0 0.07 35.0
Equipment Shovel piece 2.0 3.8 7.6
Equipment Pick axe piece 1.0 2.25 2.25
Plant material Seedlings (apple/pear) piece 625.0 0.75 468.75
Plant material Alfalfa seeds kg 17.5 0.42 7.35
Fertilizers and biocides DAP Kg 250.0 0.9 225.0
Fertilizers and biocides Urea Kg 250.0 0.45 112.5
Fertilizers and biocides Animal manure ton 10.0 60.0 600.0
Fertilizers and biocides Pesticide cc 500.0 0.9 450.0
Fertilizers and biocides Lime Kg 25.0 1.5 37.5
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 2133.7
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

Livelihood Improvement Project Takhar (LIPT) implemented by Terre des hommes (Tdh) Switzerland

Comments:

Costs calculated for a Technology area of 1ha was only done for the purpose of the WOCAT documentation. In reality SLM plots are on average 0.2- 0.4 ha or 1- 2 jiribs. Costs were simply multiplied by 5. The actual costs for a 1ha plot might be slightly different.

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Watering of the trees (Men/Women) Agronomic 2 times/month/Summer
2. Weeding (Women) Agronomic
3. Pruning (Men) Agronomic
4. Lime application (Men) Agronomic
5. Hay making (Men/Women) Agronomic
6. Harvesting fruits (Men/Women) Agronomic

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Irrigation person day 5.0 5.3 26.5 100.0
Labour Weeding person day 5.0 5.3 26.5 100.0
Labour Pruning person day 5.0 5.3 26.5 100.0
Labour Lime application person day 5.0 5.3 26.5 100.0
Equipment Scissors for pruning piece 2.0 9.0 18.0
Fertilizers and biocides Lime Kg 25.0 1.5 37.5 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 161.5
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

Livelihood Improvement Project Takhar (LIPT) implemented by Terre des Hommes (Tdh) Switzerland

Comments:

Costs calculated for a Technology area of 1ha was only done for the purpose of the WOCAT documentation. In reality SLM plots are on average 0.2- 0.4 ha or 1- 2 jiribs. Costs were simply multiplied by 5. The actual costs for a 1ha plot might be slightly different.

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Due to the remoteness of the villages where the Technology has been implemented, all the inputs for establishment, such as agricultural equipment, plant material, fertilizers, etc., are purchased in Rustaq town. The expenses for traveling and delivering the inputs affect the establishment costs.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:

580.00

Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

Average annual percipitation for the area was calculated with 580 mm, with minimums in dry years (2000 and 2001) of 270 mm and maximums in wet years (2009/2010) of 830 mm. The absolut maximum rainfall was calculated for 1986 with 1024 mm. The data series covers the time from 1979 to 2014.

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), http://rda.ucar.edu/pub/cfsr.html

Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Derived from the publicly available dataset on length of growing period (LGP) (Fischer 2009 / IIASA-FAO). Internet link: http://tiles.arcgis.com/tiles/P8Cok4qAP1sTVE59/arcgis/rest/services/Length_of_growing_period/MapServer

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Local land users differentiate between the following soil types where orchards and vineyards are established:
- Light soil: moderately deep; texture medium; medium, low organic matter
- Dark soil: moderately deep; texture medium, medium; medium organic matter

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?

Geen

Is flooding of the area occurring?

Ja

Regularity:

episodically

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Floods occur mainly during the rainy seasons in spring and autumn. Availability of surface water differs for the three study villages Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana, and Dashti Mirzai. Sari Joy has sources and good surface water availability. Jawaz Khana has poor water availability as water has to be fetched from a lower laying stream. Dashti Mirzai has good water availability also from an irrigation channel.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low
Habitat diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
  • > 50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
  • rich
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
Gender:
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • middle-aged
  • elderly
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

The land users in the area where the Technology is applied belong to the Uzbek ethnic minority group Qarluq.
Although the men are generally the main land users, however, women and children also take active part in the related work. The functions of men and women are clearly distinguished within the Afghan society. At the same time within the family this division of work and functions also results in men and women working hand-in-hand. An improvement of the family’s livelihood situation is expected to positively affect all family members. While, it is recognized that the involvement of women is key in order to secure basic human rights for everyone, to achieve good governance, sustainable development, and to efficiently contribute to poverty reduction (SDC 2004), it is also clear that a context sensitive approach is of high importance.
Women in rural Afghanistan are involved in many production and income generating activities that contribute to the overall household income, however, very few women own resources such as land and livestock, and their income generating options are fewer in comparison to that of men.

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)
Comments:

Those who own land and use water for irrigation are obliged to pay for the water. The payment is made both in kind and in cash to the Mirob - the person in charge of distributing water in the community. The amount of the payment varies from village to village.

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

crop production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The local and new improved varieties of fruit trees planted and managed sustainably give better fruit yields. Enhanced fruit production is also due to proper and timely control of pests and disease.

fodder production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The grass (alfalfa and sainfoin), which is planted under the fruit trees is used as fodder for livestock.

animal production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Indirect contribution to animal production is achieved through availability of more fodder for the livestock from the grass in the orchards. Animals also feed on the tree leaves in autumn.

wood production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Production of wood is limited. Fuel wood is made from seasonal pruning of the trees.

non-wood forest production

decreased
increased

product diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Multiple varieties of fruit trees are grown, also through grafting techniques.

production area

decreased
increased

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

The new practice of establishing orchards and vineyards ensures better yields. New variety of fruits such as apples, pears, almonds and grapes improve the diversity of household's production and consumption. The households have better opportunity to earn more from selling their fresh and dried fruits on the local market.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Land users learned new methods of planting trees according to the soil conditions and water availability. They were trained with such skills as grafting, pruning, pest and disease control and were introduced to improved verities of fruit trees.

situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups

worsened
improved
Comments/ specify:

Female headed households are not included. Technology is implemented on private land, therefore people without land are excluded. However, they have they opportunity to earn income as a hired worker for the SLM implementers.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Soil

soil loss

increased
decreased
Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Improved vegetation cover resulting from the tree plantations and the grass.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding

increased
reduced

downstream siltation

increased
decreased

buffering/ filtering capacity

reduced
improved
Comments regarding impact assessment:

These comments apply to 6.1 and 6.2:
- Socio-economic impacts: Individual SLM implementers were asked to rate the benefits from orchards and vineyards. They were asked to indicate production increase of crops; fodder; animals; wood; non-wood forest products; increase in product diversity; or production area. The most important increase they rated with 3, the second most with 2, others with 1 point. Averages of the points given by all implementers of orchards are reflected here.
- Similarly for the "ecological impacts" and on "off-site impacts": Individual SLM implementers were asked to rate the on-site and off-site impacts of orchards and vineyards on water; soil; and vegetation. They were asked to indicate the strength of impacts with three, two or one points. Averages of the points given by the orchard implementers are reflected here.
- Socio-cultural impacts: This section is answered by the scientists, based on information collected during focus group discussions, and interviews conducted with persons from the 3 villages where the LIPT project implemented the SLM practices.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm very well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Comments:

Based on the multi-criteria matrix: SLM implementers were asked to jointly discuss and rate how much the SLM technology reduced the lands vulnerability to drought and local rainstorms. Only vulnerability to the most prevalent climate extremes (drought and local rainstorms) was discussed. SLM technologies were rated as reducing vulnerability poorly, well, or very well. The average points reflected here are from multi-criteria matrixes compiled in three villages where the SLM technology had been implemented.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

Comments:

Based on the multi-criteria matrix: During the FGD with SLM implementers, a multi-criteria matrix was elaborated, and different SLM practices were rated. In the frame of this exercise, SLM implementers were asked to jointly discuss and rate short term (1-3 years) and long-term (10 years) returns of the SLM practice. As the SLM technology was only implemented 1-2 years ago, it is too early to compare benefits to maintenance costs. Farmers have little experience so far on the actual benefits of the SLM technology. The ratings are mostly based on expected benefits and not on actual benefits.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

6.5 ha

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 10-50%
Comments:

Individual SLM implementers were asked whether they received support for implementing the Technology. Each indicated the type of support he received from the proposed options: "Full Support 100%, Some Support, No Support 0%". 18% have adopted the technology without receiving support.

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?

Ja

other (specify):

protection

Specify adaptation of the Technology (design, material/ species, etc.):

Some of the land users built a wall around their orchard. The wall made from locally available clay material, protects the trees and the grass from animal and people intrusion.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The land users have high expectations about the benefits of the improved practices to grow fruit trees. They see the benefit of growing different types of fruits. Expectations are high about increased fruit yields and increased opportunities to sell more fresh and dried fruits and nuts on the local market. Fruits and nuts sell very well and can generate higher incomes for the households.
The ecological benefits of the orchards in protecting the soil from heavy rains is valued by the land users. The villagers mark improved vegetation cover as their villages are becoming greener with the fruit trees and the alfalfa in the orchards.
It is appreciated by the land users that they were introduced and provided with new varieties of fruits. They were also trained on planting and maintaining orchards and vineyards in accordance with local conditions and using such techniques as grafting, pruning, mulching, protection from pests and diseases, etc.
The orchards not only give fruits, but also are the source of fuel wood, which is made from pruning the trees. Considering that many households keep livestock, the grass under the trees and tree leaves are used to feed the livestock. In return livestock manure is used as organic fertilizer for the trees.
Some land users having seen the positive outcome of their work, are interested in enlarging their orchards. Others are ready to support those who want to plant fruit trees by sharing tree saplings or seedlings with them.
Women share the expectations of earning more money for their household through growing more fruits and selling them on the local market. In Dashti Mirzai and Jawaz Khana women are particularly excited over their grape, which still need some time to give yields.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Better management practices in growing fruit trees will benefit the land user and the land through strengthening soil resistance to heavy rainfall and prevent erosion. Over the period of few more years the trees and undergrowth grass will significantly enhance infiltration and moisture retention in the soil, which in turn increase the vegetation cover and halt the degradation process.
The SLM knowledge obtained through project training is disseminating inside and beyond the villages, along with exchange of seedlings from new varieties of fruit trees. In addition to that, land users are aware of pest and disease control and have access to these services through trained specialist.
Households do not have to rely only on wheat and legumes, but are able to diversify their agricultural production even more. The expected opportunity to sell more fruits and nuts has the potential to increase households income. This in turn will enable the family to secure their food supply for longer periods.
Female family members' participation is one of the key elements for sustaining orchards and vineyards. Women highly value the importance of their work in orchards and the benefit it provides to their households.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Lack of irrigation water is a crucial issue, especially in Jawaz Khana, which makes it very difficult for the land users to maintain their orchards. Rehabilitate the Yakhdons. Yakhdon is a local storage method for collecting snow water in winter to be used for drinking and irrigation in spring and summer. One Yakhdon can provide water for up to six months. Several of these Yakhdons are destroyed and their rehabilitation would provide better access to water for Jawaz Khana.
The young trees are sensitive to droughts and need to be watered regularly to ensure that they survive.
Establishment of orchards requires hard work and sufficient money from the land user to buy seedlings and in some cases to build a wall around the orchard or build an irrigation canal.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The establishment of orchards is reported as one of the most labour-intensive SLM practice for both men and women. Working in orchards increases the burden of women in addition to their household chores.
Technical knowledge on planting and maintaining fruit trees and grapes is required to ensure tree survival, good productivity and protection from pests and diseases.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • interviews with land users

Focus group discussions (FGD) were organized by CDE team to collect information from SLM implementers. Total of 17 land users who have implemented terraces participated in the FGDs held in the three villages of Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai.
Interviews were conducted by the HAFL team to collect information from persons representing all the three study villages. Very detailed interviews were conducted with 41 persons interested in orchard implementation, of which 14 persons are from households that already have implemented orchards.

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

Close collaboration took place during the compilation of this material with the technical staff of the LIPT project in Rustaq.

  • compilation from reports and other existing documentation

Information provided in the reports of the LIPT project in Rustaq served as an initial source of information during the preparatory phase and also solidifying the description of the technology and area of implementation. Other background papers on Afghanistan were referred to for general information on agriculture and natural resource management in Afghanistan.

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Guidelines for Focus Group Discussions

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Methods section of the Rustaq NRM study

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