Joint Development Associates

Catalyzing Transformational Development


JDA works with new farming techniques to bring new high protein multi-use crops to the region.  Helping communities become self-sufficient in food production is a main goal in development work.  We have also introduced the use of the 2-wheel tractor for better farming techniques.  


JDA Involvement in the USAID
Regional Agricultural Development Program


JDA has partnered with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) and is a lead implementer in improving the productivity of wheat cultivation to reduce farmers’ losses, improve food security and boost household incomes.

Wheat is arguably the most important crop in Afghanistan supplying roughly 50% of average daily caloric consumption. Growth under irrigated and rain fed conditions has not been sufficient to meet domestic demand so imports are required. The key constraints to expanded production for smallholder farmers are a lack of improved and adapted varieties, limited availability of quality seed, limited access to fertilizers, inadequate production technologies, and damaged rural infrastructure which results in low productivity and high production costs.


Underlying RADP-North’s technical approach to improve wheat productivity and strengthen market linkages is the vision that if wheat productivity can be increased, households can meet their food security needs with less land devoted to wheat. Farmers then have the opportunity to shift land from wheat to higher value crops that are important to increased household incomes, and that can result in improved nutritional outcomes.


RADP-North will support actors in the value chain that provide services to farmers to better meet farmer needs with better product and service access and affordability. We will also work to ensure that farmers better understand options for improved technologies that can result in greater returns. By promoting these options through farmer groups, RADP-North can boost the dissemination of these improvements.

IDEA NEW Project

A typical farmer has access to an average of 4 ha of land, and it requires him to spend 20 days to cultivate it with an oxen. This 20 days represents a full season's work since he has no other land and it is only enough to sustain his family.  At harvest time the farmer can't find laborers willing to freely cultivate his wheat and he ends up using 30% of his grain to pay for harvesting and threshing.  He has to sell the rest to pay his debts but must rely on a regional broker who comes to his village offering low cash prices.

With the help of a 2-wheeled tractor, a farmer can cultivate his land in 5 days and can work the other 15 for his neighbors earning cash.

In 2013, JDA completed the IDEA NEW Project which was funded by USAID.  The program provided training for farmers and their new 2-wheel tractors.  The various courses introduce farmers to improved agronomy options ranging from seed selection to treatment, to mechanized harvesting and marketing primarily for wheat-based systems.

The basic agronomy and other courses are utilized to help introduce farmers to 2- wheel tractors. These trained farmers eventually adopt the new practices and then they show others, facilitating a more rapid business development for new owners. 

Basic agronomy and appropriate mechanization courses are an important introduction to 2-wheeled tractors as the farmers develop consensus about the value of the equipment. This then allows other farmers to want to purchase and take part of the training aspect of the project.