Father of five Abdul Satar resides in a small village Samangan province. A farmer by trade, Abdul Satar’s livelihood has been continually disrupted by economic and climatic shocks. He told us about the challenges his family has faced: “For many years, I used to grow wheat on my land, but I could hardly provide enough food in the winter for my family. Although my wife and children helped me in the farm work, I could not provide enough money for their education and school.”

“I wasn’t able to farm anything else in my land,” Abdul Satar told us, “But I knew people in my area who cultivated Ferula and got a good income from it, but I could not buy it and grow it in my land because I did not have enough money to afford the cost.”

Fortunately, a local Afghanaid team recently visited Abdul Satar’s village, looking to support farming families through providing drought resistant wheat seed, helping farmers diversify their crops, improving irrigation infrastructure and thereby strengthening their resilience to the harsh Samangan climate. 

After enrolling on the project, Abdul Satar was able to receive the Ferula seedling and training he needed to transform his future.

“I received 35,000 seedlings of the Ferula and I cultivated it in one Jerib of land, the employees of Afghanaid also taught me how to grow, maintain and collect the result. I practiced all the methods I had been trained in cultivating the Ferula.”

A profitable crop across Central Asia, Ferula can be sold at high prices to make the spice asafoetida, and is utilised in various homeopathic medicines. This drought-tolerant crop also ensures Abdul Satar does not solely rely on his wheat yield, and can still earn a decent living despite the changing climate. 

Now, I am very happy and optimistic that we will earn good money, buy good food, wear warm clothes, and experience a good life through the cultivation of Ferula.

As part of this project, Afghanaid distributed more than 2 million Ferula seedlings to vulnerable farmers across Samangan and Badakhshan provinces, and trained the farmers receiving the seedlings to properly prepare their land, care for the crop and harvest it. This initiative has made a tremendous impact on the lives of families like Abdul Satar’s, putting them in a stronger position for the year to come.

Help us support many more farmers like Abdul Satar

Climate change is a growing issue for farmers in Afghanistan, with droughts and floods destroying harvests and leaving many in difficult positions. For decades, Afghanaid has been pioneering climate-adaptation programming in Afghanistan, working with rural farming communities to build their resilience to rising temperatures and extreme weather events.

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