Another project in Afghanistan included the Afghanistan Water, Agriculture and Technology Transfer (AWATT) project developed in partnership with New Mexico State University and the USAID Alternative Development and Agriculture Office (ADAG). Through AWATT, IGATT helped to strengthen the Afghanistan rural economy by identifying employment opportunities and value-added processes to increase income and food production through technology transfer, policy development, and training. Through this, we created land and water policy analytic decision-making tools, technology adaptation and adoption strategies, strengthened the IRoA Agriculture Research System Structure, and proposed legal policy frameworks for water and land ownership use and rights.
Our final project- the Cashmere Supply chain enterprise project involves IGATT working alongside local sheep farmers to build sustainable, replicable, and scalable cashmere wool demonstration farms throughout Afghanistan as a viable agricultural option amid the challenges of climate change.
IGATT has three successful programs in Afghanistan focusing on water, livestock, and business development. By focusing on international partnerships and appropriate technologies, we helped build sustainable and scalable agricultural enterprises to grow production for Afghanistan farmers.
Our first project, the Trilateral Water Project was recently completed. Working alongside a team of specialist from the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, IGATT brought key watershed rehabilitation and irrigation technologies to drought-stricken areas. The group formed effective regional partnerships and identified key focus areas in efficient water and soil use and conservation to make higher productivity alongside better conservation a reality for the region.
Figure 2. Irrigation demonstration farm in Afghanistan.
Figure 1. Dr. Ajay Jha with the US-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Working Group.
As a result, IGATT helped to introduce a variety of soil and water conservation strategies and technologies disseminated through a cadre of "train the trainer" specialists. By training prominent community members to serve as the owners and teachers of these new approaches and technologies, we built farmer-to-farmer enterprise networks to provide communities with adaptable tools and techniques to make their farms more sustainable and productive- even when water is scarce.