Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
GPFA is not so much changing a system as putting one in place. By helping local governments to provide better agricultural services to farmers, improving secondary and university agricultural education, enhancing water supplies, improving natural resource management, and advising national agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, we are strengthening the institutions and infrastructure that support the agricultural sector.
At the individual level, GPFA’s impact is reflected in both our numbers and in the social changes we have helped inspire, such as a growing acceptance of women’s enterprise ownership and greater accountability on the part of local governments to deliver agricultural services. We have enabled more than 21,000 farmers (6,600 of whom are women) in 600 villages across 12 provinces to start farm-based enterprises. We have improved the incomes, and likely the nutrition and education of an additional 168,000 people (based on the average family size of 9). The lives of an additional 60,000 people have been improved by our programs in irrigation, resource management and watershed rehabilitation which have increased access to water, reduced water waste, and expanded the amount of arable land. Many of our farm families have seen their annual incomes almost triple: depending on the province, a yearly income from small woodlots can range from $1,200 to $2,400. Owners can expect an additional profit of $30,000 to $40,000 when they sell their poplar trees as timber for construction.
Responsibility for monitoring and evaluation lies with GPFA’s Kabul-based Project Support Unit. To support this, as well as to help us to develop broader, more global indicators, we have a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist based in New York
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
We plan to increase in scale and have an impact farther up the value chain. Existing activities that will expand include adding value to farm output through improved access to markets; improving crop storage; introducing methods for processing, preserving and drying crops; improving water management; building the capacity of institutions that support the agriculture sector; and expanding the training and education of farmers, agriculture students and professionals to other provinces.
New activities include providing access to useful, cost-efficient energy; enhancing farmer access to credit and financing; and using cell phone technology to expand farmer access to training and market information.