COMMERCIAL HORTICULTURE and AGRICULTURAL MARKETING PROGRAM (CHAMP)
Project website: http://champ.af/
CHAMP began in February 2010, as a four year, $34.9 million activity that will reduce poverty among rural Afghan farmers by assisting them to shift from relatively low-value annual crops, such as wheat, to relatively high-value perennial crops, such as almonds, grapes and pomegranates. Because improved trellising can dramatically improve the productivity of existing grape vineyards, a second component of CHAMP will be to assist grape producers to install improved trellising systems in new or existing vineyards. Plans are to establish 7,865ha of new orchards and vineyards and 1,330ha of trellising in new and existing vineyards. Participants will contribute $4.5 million of their own funds as a “partnership” portion of the costs of the materials for the orchards and vineyards. A marketing program will support the increased production by linking producers to merchants in a system that rewards farmers and merchants for higher quality production with higher prices and profits, working with farmers to improve quality, and with traders to improve harvesting, packing, cooling, shipping and marketing methods. Profits will be increased through interventions targeting higher paying, non-traditional, export markets and better access to trade credit. CHAMP is implementing programs in 16 provinces in the Eastern, South Eastern, Southern and Central regions of Afghanistan. USAID has increased our funding with and additional $10.0 million to expand upon our marketing efforts.
Results to January 2013
- Established over 18,000 new orchards and vineyards, upgrading farmers to high-value crops like grapes, almonds, apricots, pomegranates and apples, raising farmer income 300%.
- On track to establish introduce trellising on 825ha vineyards.
- Contracts have been signed with 25 nurseries distributed across the program area for 2,600,000 saplings.
- Established small-scale poultry enterprises for 250 women have established 550 kitchen gardens.
- CHAMP assisted merchants in Kabul and Kandahar to ship grapes, almonds and pomegranates to a dozen international markets.
- Pioneered the cold chain in Afghanistan and refrigerated export to India, Dubai, Europe and Canada.
- Organized the first fresh apricot export to India and Dubai.
- Refined an improved shade dried raisin structure and are now building hundreds in Ghazni, Logar, Zabul and Kabul provinces increasing farmer income 40%.
- Established cool cellars for apple storage in Ghazni, double income on the stored fruit.
- Introduced improved methods to commercialize dried apricots.
- Assisting the sales of over 50,000 MT of fresh and dried fruits, raising farmer income 50-100%.
- Established a contract with Pashtany Bank for a focused credit program for participating merchants. The contract is being use as a basis for an expanded credit program implemented at CHAMP request by USAID’s Agricultural Credit Enhancement (ACE) program.