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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)
Mohammad Azim Habibullah
Natural Resources Management Committee (NRMC)
Sari Joy village, Rustaq District
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)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)?
The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:
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?
SLM practices documented in the framework 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.
1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches
2. Description of the SLM Technology
2.1 Short description of the Technology
Definition of the Technology:
Community fodder banks have been established in villages for the purpose of ensuring supplies of livestock fodder during winter, to prevent loss of livestock and to prevent over-grazing early in spring.
2.2 Detailed description of the Technology
Livestock keeping is one of the key livelihood strategies in rural Rustaq, in addition to cultivation of agricultural crops. Families rely on their livestock not only for consumption of meat and dairy products, but also as means of transportation (donkeys), labour force in agriculture (oxen, donkeys) and a source of cash income. When crops fail to produce enough, families sell their livestock to survive until the next season. Naturally, every family strives to increase their household’s livestock as much as they can, which increases pressure on the local pastures, leading to extensive overgrazing.
The pastures in Jawaz Khana, Dashti Mirzai and Sari Joy are characterized by poor vegetation cover, low carrying capacity and severe erosion - with deep rills clearly visible. The quantity and quality of fodder is insufficient for all the livestock, leading to poor animal health. Starting from early spring to late autumn livestock keepers graze their animals on the open grazing lands. During winter months, the animals are kept inside and fed with the fodder conserved during summer. Very often, and especially during droughts, the fodder stocks can be extremely low and inadequate for the animals to make it through to spring - and then farmers lose livestock.
For the purpose of tackling fodder shortages during winter months and preventing livestock loss, the Livelihood Improvement Project in Takhar (LIPT) supported the Natural Resources Management Committees in Sari Joy, Dashti Mirzai and Jawaz Khana to establish community fodder banks. The fodder bank is also meant to compensate for the closure of rehabilitated pastures during the exclusion period of 1-3 years.
The NRMC mobilized the community to construct the fodder bank building. The building is composed of a large single space of 3.5 m x 10 m x 4 m. Generally the location for the fodder bank is chosen in the middle of the village near the mosque or NRMC building. On average, the fodder bank has a capacity of 250 bags of straw and 50 bundles of hay. Durable construction materials, namely stone and cement are used for the walls. The walls are painted for protection from mould. Proper windows and entrance door are installed to ensure insulation and protection from weather events. The construction materials and labour costs are fully covered by the LIPT project. The maintenance works for the building consists of repairing the roof every autumn with a clay layer.
The fodder bank serves as a reserve for the village community. After each harvest the farmers deliver a certain amount of fodder to the fodder bank, and in return they can take out fodder for their livestock needs. The established regulations require that each farmer is obliged to reimburse the fodder bank for the fodder he has taken as a loan. The NRMC appoints persons in charge of accepting, and releasing, fodder from the fodder bank. The persons in charge record the incoming and outgoing fodder in the log book for fodder. The log book registers the name of the farmer and the amount of fodder he has delivered, or taken, from the fodder bank.
The fodder banks have been functioning for only couple of years. The community has been using the fodder bank to feed their livestock during winter mainly, but also when they have shortage of fodder in other months as well. Due to the low capacity of current pastures the farmers produce just enough to feed their livestock and not much is left to store in the fodder bank. The fodder stocks are expected to increase in future as part of the ongoing process of pasture rehabilitation through cultivation of alfalfa and rotational grazing plans.
Women and children are often involved in collecting the hay and carrying it to the fodder bank. This requires long-distance walks with heavy loads since many houses are located far from the fodder bank. Despite this heavy work, women say that they find the fodder banks useful because of the opportunity to borrow hay for their livestock when they need it.
2.3 Photos of the Technology
2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment
Region/ State/ Province:
Takhar Province, Rustaq District
Further specification of location:
Dashti Mirzai, Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana Villages
Coordinates of SLM plots owned by SLM implementers who participated in the FGD derived through the Rustaq NRM study QGIS database.
This documentation is based on the experiences of SLM implementers from Sari Joy (1 Fodder bank), Jawaz Khana, (1 Fodder bank), and Dashti Mirzai (1 Fodder bank).
2.6 Date of implementation
Indicate year 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
- reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
- Improve fodder supplies
3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied
- Settlements, buildings
Fodder bank to store hay and wheat straw
3.3 Further information about land use
Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
Number of growing seasons per year:
3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs
- pastoralism and grazing land management
- post-harvest measures
3.5 Spread of the Technology
Specify the spread of the Technology:
- applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area
3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology
The measures comprise construction of a facility to host community fodder bank
3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation
Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
- restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land
The Technology is implemented in support of pasture rehabilitation, sustaining fodder for livestock and preventing early grazing, .
4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs
4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing
The building is composed of a large single room of 3.5 m x 10 m x 4 m. Generally the location for the fodder bank is chosen in the middle of the village near the mosque or NRMC building. On average, the fodder bank has a capacity of 250 bags of straw and 50 bundles of hay. Durable construction materials such as stone and cement are used for the walls. The walls are covered with white paint for protection from mould. Proper windows and entrance door are installed to ensure insulation and protection from weather events. The construction materials and labour costs are fully covered by the LIPT project. The maintenance works consists of repairing the roof every autumn with a clay layer.
4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs
Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
- per Technology unit
Specify volume, length, etc. (if relevant):
Measurements: 3.5 m x10 m x 4 m
Specify currency used for cost calculations:
- US Dollars
Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:
4.4 Establishment activities
|Activity||Type of measure||Timing|
|1.||Selection of the site for building the fodder bank||Management||Spring|
|2.||Preparatory works and excavation of the site||Structural||Summer|
|3.||Construction of walls||Structural||Summer|
|4.||Other construction works and installations||Structural||Summer|
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||Preparatory works and excavation of the site||person-day||2,0||5,3||10,6|
|Labour||Construction of wall of the facility||person-day||15,0||5,3||79,5|
|Labour||Other construction works and installations||person-day||15,0||5,3||79,5|
|Construction material||Stone for construction||cubic meter||12,0||16,0||192,0|
|Construction material||Gravel||cubic meter||4,0||16,0||64,0|
|Construction material||Oil paint||kg||10,0||1,7||17,0|
|Construction material||Plastic color 50% and 100%||kg||48,0||2,45||117,6|
|Total costs for establishment of the Technology||1196,3|
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
4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities
|Activity||Type of measure||Timing/ frequency|
|1.||Repair works of the roof with clay and hay mixture||Structural||Autumn|
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||Repair of the roof||person day||2,0||5,3||10,6||100,0|
|Total costs for maintenance of the Technology||10,6|
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
- < 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:
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:
Average annual precipitation for the area was calculated with 580 mm, with minimum in dry years (2000 and 2001) of 270 mm and maximum in wet years (2009/2010) of 830 mm. The absolute 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:
Reference meteorological station considered: Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), http://rda.ucar.edu/pub/cfsr.html
Derived from the publicly available data set 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
5.4 Water availability and quality
Ground water table:
Availability of surface water:
Water quality (untreated):
good drinking water
Is water salinity a problem?
Is flooding of the area occurring?
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-down stream. Dashti Mirzai has good water availability - also from an irrigation channel.
5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology
Sedentary or nomadic:
Market orientation of production system:
- subsistence (self-supply)
- mixed (subsistence/ commercial
- 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
Individuals or groups:
- individual/ household
- groups/ community
Level of mechanization:
- manual work
- animal traction
Age of land users:
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 great 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)?
5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights
- communal/ village
- individual, not titled
Land use rights:
- communal (organized)
Water use rights:
- communal (organized)
Those who own land and use water for irrigation are obliged to pay for 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.
5.9 Access to services and infrastructure
employment (e.g. off-farm):
roads and transport:
drinking water and sanitation:
6. Impacts and concluding statements
6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown
SLM/ land degradation knowledge
Land users learned about the SLM practice through involvement in the process.
6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown
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 the Technology. 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 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 the Technology 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 all Technology 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 Technology.
6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)
SLM implementers from three villages 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 matrices 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)?
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 framework of this exercise, SLM implementers were asked to jointly discuss and rate short term (1-3 years) and long-term (10 years) returns. 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
- single cases/ experimental
One fodder bank is established in each village to be used by the whole community for storing their hay.
Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?
6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology
|Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view|
|Fodder reserves are available during winter and early spring.|
|Livestock keepers can borrow fodder from the fodder bank when they need it.|
|The fodder is stored in a dry place and is protected from rain and snow.|
|Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view|
|The community learns how to regulate the use of fodder|
|By providing fodder reserves, the rehabilitated pastures are protected from early grazing in spring.|
6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them
|Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view||How can they be overcome?|
|Poor awareness and community participation in storing their fodder in the fodder banks||More community awareness and mobilization|
7. References and links
7.1 Methods/ sources of information
- interviews with land users
Focus group discussions (FGD) were organized to collect information from SLM implementers in the villages of Sari Joy, Jawaz Khana and Dashti Mirzai.
- 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 Tdh 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 Groups Discussions
Title, author, year, ISBN:
Methods section of the Rustaq NRM study