Access to Resources
Elsewhere in Paghman district, thirty-year-old Abdul Azim is working steadily on his 3.5-jerib (0.7-hectare) orchard, pruning apple trees with a pair of recently acquired shears.
Azim's annual income in 2018 from his thriving orchard of 800 apple trees doubled over the previous year. 'This year , I earned 40,000 afghanis [about $530] from my orchard, while last year, I earned just 18,000 to 20,000 afghanis,' says Azim, who plans to expand. 'In the next 4-5 years, I expect to earn 1.6 million afghanis [about $21,000] from the whole orchard.'
Recently, NHLP technical experts advised him to prune his trees during winter months, and as he has been satisfied with the results of previous advice, Azim has followed suit. 'The field workers look for tree infections and give me more advice on how to deal with my trees, such as trimming branches and pest management,' Azim says of the NHLP field workers who visit weekly. 'I am very happy with the work and help that the NHLP supervisors and engineers provide our community and we are completely satisfied with the program.'
NHLP support is provided only to farmers who have their own land and the assistance is crucial to helping them become more efficient. With the tangible and financial support NHLP provides,
NHLP also provides pesticides and seeds free of charge, while other horticultural materials, such as pruning shears, fertilizers, saplings, ladders, and harvesting baskets are sold at a heavily subsidized price. According to Nooruddin Hemat, 30, NHLP district coordinator, the project meets 75 percent of the cost of these items or agricultural works that it supports such as digging wells, while the farmer pays for the remaining 25 percent.
NHLP support continues over the project period and aims to help farmers reach the point where they can be self-sufficient. 'If our tools get damaged or break, we can request NHLP to provide us with a replacement and they will help us,' Azim says. 'Moreover, the quality of resources that the project provides is very good.'
*All U.S. dollar equivalents are based on the exchange rate $1=75.09 afghanis (January 2019)