A Steady Rise in Agricultural Production
Arbab Ghafar, a beautiful village located some 25 km northeast of Kunduz city. Most of the residents in this community depend on agriculture and livestock activities for livelihoods considering an appropriate landscaping and climate year-round. Prior to the coverage of this community by the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP), some 1,300 jirabs (equivalent to 260 hectares) of agricultural land was suffering from water scarcity in the past few years over here. The farmers would usually try in vain to harvest any production in the end of season almost every year.
Fortunately, once the Citizens’ Charter covered this community, the Community Development Council (CDC) members in close consultation with the local farmers reached an agreement that they would prioritize the rehabilitation of a wooden water-intake which was supplying water from an irrigation source to the irrigated lands with the help of Maintenance and Construction Cash Grant (MCCG) project of the MRRD/CCNPP.
Said Wali Muhammad, a local farmer: “We didn’t have enough water to irrigate our wheat, rice, vegetables, melons and watermelon crops in the past. We used to build temporary water-intakes from planks and wooden pools by hammering nails into them to divert the flow of water. This is why the intake would usually be washed away and our crops in the fields would dry up due to insufficient water. We had to provide three to four trucks of wood to build this intake every year. Fortunately, we have been able to solve our irrigation problems soon after the Citizens’ Charter built us an efficiently sustainable water-intake”.
“Following the construction of the water-intake through the Citizens’ Charter, I have been able to grow a number of crops such as wheat, melon, watermelon, hop clover, okra and onion on my agricultural land. The water-intake is currently benefiting from 400 to 500 families in our village. We hope the water-intake may help our agricultural production increase by four times comparing to past this year”, added Wali Muhammad.
Janat Gul another local farmer is now making preparations for the cultivation of rice on his land. While expressing his pleasure over the construction of the water-intake, he said: “We used to divert water with such a great difficulty in the past. The construction of the concrete water-intake has fully encouraged me to grow rice and, if God willing, I will collect a better annual yield during harvest time this year”.
Constructed at a sum of AFN 933,333 funded by the MCCG Project of the Citizens’ Charter, the water-intake is capable of passing 1.2 cubic meters of water per second. Around 60% of these funds have been allocated for the labor cost while the rest 40% of the grants have been spent on purchasing construction materials for the intake project. According to local farmers, the water-intake project has helped increase their agricultural productivities by five times.