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Gender, Opportunities, and Fodder Production Systems in Afghanistan

In 2017, ICARDA partnered with KIT to research gendered constraints and opportunities for fodder production systems in rural Afghanistan.  

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Addressing the Winter Fodder Gap in Rural Afghanistan 

In Afghanistan eight million farm households rely on crop and livestock production for food, income, and as a ‘safety-net’ in times of need. However, small farmers in rural Afghanistan often struggle to sustain their livestock because of shortages in fodder and forage—the various crops that farmers use to feed their livestock. Deficiencies in the forage value chain limit animal productivity and put households at economic risk, particularly during the country’s harsh winters. 

Exploring How Gender Shapes Opportunities in the Fodder Value Chains 

Women play important roles in the forage value chain in Afghanistan. However, unequal social relations produce and reinforce gender-specific barriers and opportunities for smallholder farmers (both women and men) to engage with and benefit from innovation processes that aim to close the winter forage gap. Therefore, KIT developed a rigorous research design to help the project to:  

The research project used a mixed method approach, combining literature review with qualitative and quantitative methods. Primary data were collected from three Afghan provinces through interviews and focus group discussion. KIT also facilitated workshops in Cairo and Dubai.

During the Dubai workshop, over 20 different actors from Afghanistan discussed the systemic constraints to closing the winter forage gap and the opportunities for intervention into the existing value chains for feed and fodder. Finally, through solicited diaries, five women shared their experiences of engaging directly with different forage innovation systems in rural Afghanistan. The women focused in particular on their reflections and experiences on the different ways gender interacts with innovation processes in agriculture in their villages.  

Broader Work in Baghlan and Nangarhar Provinces 

Findings from the research project fed into the larger “Forage options for smallholder livestock in water-scarce environments of Afghanistan” project, funded by ACIAR. The project aimed to a) enhance forage productivity within Baghlan and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan, and b) uncover and foster equitable and inclusive approaches for uptake of technologies nationally. 

Learn More About this Project 

Services delivered

  • Applied research

    KIT Royal Tropical Institute addresses development challenges at local, regional and global levels through research that generates new insights and knowledge in our areas of expertise: health, sustainable economic development and gender.

  • Project Implementation

    KIT Royal Tropical Institute has more than 80 experts specialising in public health systems, epidemiology, sexual and reproductive health and rights, agricultural innovation, food value-chains, gender relations, and inclusive finance. The combination of this expertise and process-related skills not only leads to better projects, it also builds competencies in project design, implementation and management

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