Agriculture is traditionally the major activity for a large portion of
the population, but the sector has suffered from nearly 30 years of
conflict, low investments and natural disasters. The average size of
landholdings is small, and as a result agriculture is rarely the main
source of food or income. About two thirds of rural households own some
livestock, and farmers also sell their labor.
In 2013, we concluded a three year agriculture program which was funded by USAID and in partnership with ACDI-VOCA**. This program was really a culmination of more than eight years of agriculture development using 2-wheel tractors first imported by JDA in 2005.
**A private international development non-profit organization based in Washington DC.
Mohhamad Yusof, from a village in Balkh province, only cultivated his own land until one of our trainers convinced him to start contracting for his neighbors. He agreed and provided tillage services to 13 farmers and 7 ha in the first season with his 2-wheel tractor, in addition to his own land. He is now earning $6/hr for his services.
"As children we would swim and drink drainage water and every day we would experience stomach pain. A friend of mine had a tapeworm even after treatment she would get another one. We didn't know it came from dirty water. After your lessons, we understood how important it is to keep our bodies clean, to wash our hands with soap, to use clean water, and how to wash fruit and keep our food away from flies. I am teaching these lessons to my family every day."-Nabila
We have also partnered with two other organizations for the second consecutive year in our efforts to provide clean water sources to rural communities. Last year, we were able to build 13 new wells in different villages in northern Afghanistan. Each well provides water for an average of 84 families or 519 people.
JDA is pioneering an innovative approach to teaching young children basic hygiene practices.
Schools in local villages have hosted our program using a puppet show and other visual aid for children in the 1st through 4th grade. Students watch and listen to the story of a girl named "Suhayla" who gets sick because she was eating unwashed fruit, did not wash her hands, and her home was not clean.