Zabul province has vast agricultural land and main crops produce in Zabul are Wheat, Apricot, Almond, Grape and vegetables. Majority of population are involved in agriculture and feed their families through agriculture and farming. Although farmers cultivate more land but they harvest very low production, the basic problem is use of traditional and conventional practices and lack of technical agriculture knowledge. Chemonics Int has organized RADP-S farmers training on September 2014 which is supported by USAID and implemented by ADA for farmers technical capacity upgrading in wheat and HVC for sustainable development of agriculture and promotion of rural and farmers community economic situation in the province.
Sultan Mohammad who lives in the south skirt of Qalat city in Sheer Abad Village with his 15 family members. Sultan Mohammad is one of those farmers, who continuously attended all training of RADP-S at demo farm Qalat 03atSeenak village.
He said “Although I always cultivated more land with different crops as wheat, established Almond, Apricot and Grapevines in my land, but I always harvested very low production from my land. Even my production was not enough for farming cost as seed, fertilizer, cultivation, irrigation and harvesting cost, I was unable to cover living cost of my family and I was too tired and bored with my agriculture and farming. He narrated,” now I understood that my real problem was use of traditional and conventional methods in my farming system, such as improper land preparation, irrigation, existence of pest, disease and weed in my field and its control. I was not familiar with improved and advanced farming techniques; therefore my land production was too low. Fortunately I have participated in RADP-S farmers training classes which were organized by ADA/RADP-S at seenak village of Qalat district. After completion of the trainings, I learned advanced agricultural practices and I applied it in my faming activity. He explained I learned the following techniques in the training and applied in my wheat field:
1- I have selected proper land for wheat cultivation and added animal manure to the land. 2- I have selected wheat seed which was free from weed plant seed, pest and disease symptoms. 3- I have ploughed my land properly. 4- I have considered crop rotation as I cultivated potato in the land, after harvesting of potato I cultivated wheat, in the past I cultivate wheat in the same land for 2-3 years, therefore its yield was too low and huge number of weed plant was grown. 5- I used proper quantity of seed and fertilizer. 6- Most importantly I controlled weed plant manually so I did not purchase agrochemical. All of these practices resulted very well, therefore
Sultan Mohammad said:” by learning of improved agriculture techniques my wheat production increased and it bring prosperity to my family and my economic situation will boost in near future. He added farmers training and capacity building is short way for agriculture productivity. He seems hopeful and said, “ I will apply my knowledge in my orchards and vineyards as well I hope I will have sufficient production from my orchards and grapevine as well.
At the end Sultan Mohammad appreciated USAID/Chemonics Int, and ADA staff for implementation of the program and attention to the farmers who are the poorest segment of community and always face with poverty in Afghanistan.