Afghan Projects - Alternative Livelihoods Project North, Orchard Planting Project, 2006-2009

Alternative Livelihoods Project North, Orchard Planting Project, 2006-2009
USAID funded project, managed by PADCO/AECOM, $3,060,012

The opium trade dominates Afghanistan’s economy, and switching from poppies to other legal crops is not without costs and loss of income to farmers. Over 90 percent of the world’s opium originates from Afghan poppies; and may contribute to one-third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. International donors and Afghans themselves recognize that the opium trade is destabilizing. It contributes to insecurity and undermines the rule of law.

The Alternative Livelihoods Project (ALP) is a five-pillared program established by the U.S. and Afghan governments targeting the core poppy-producing areas in the southern and eastern provinces and in the northern provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar, where the ALP/North program is focused. One of the five pillars is to accelerate regional economic growth to provide licit alternatives to poppy production in these regions.

Roots of Peace began working with the Planning and Development Collaborative (PADCO) in April 2006 to develop commercial orchard systems as an alternative to poppy production. Our role is to promote the development of new orchards to increase rural farm income in the Badakhshan Province. We will plant over 600,000 almond, cherry, walnut, apricot, plum and prune trees in small-holder orchards. We will establish extension services for these new orchard farmers along with marketing extension services to develop more distant markets from this remote region. Commercial nurseries developed by Roots of Peace will propagate local and imported varieties in support of this program.