Title

Drip irrigation helps in water conservation and increase citrus fruit production in eastern Afghanistan

Time

July 2020

Location

Nangarhar, Afghanistan

Beneficiaries

500 Households

Funding source

Japan and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)/ US Department of State

 

Drip irrigation helps in water conservation and increase citrus fruit production in eastern Afghanistan

In January 2020, UNODC initiated a project aiming to improve water efficiency and citrus production in Nangarhar. The project is being implemented as part of the Alternative Development programme along with Afghanistan National Horticulture Development Organization (ANHDO) which concentrates on rehabilitation of citrus orchard of 500 farmers growing citrus fruit. In four districts of Nangarhar drip irrigation system has been installed, encouraging farmers to generate income through harvesting licit crops.

Abdul Qahir is one of the citrus growers who with the support of UNODC, established seven Jeribs lemon orchard equipped with drip irrigation system. Qahir started growing citrus fruit in October 2019 because of its high return. A well-managed citrus orchard gives approximately five times more income compared to the wheat, maize and vegetable, Qahir can now earn AFN 150,000 (USD 1,974) per jerib from a citrus orchard comparing to AFN 30,000 (USD 395) from wheat, maize and vegetables.  Prior to installing drip irrigation system, he was using traditional flood irrigation method.  Flood irrigation requires more water, there is high loss of water due to evaporation and seepage into the earth and fields are unevenly watered.  Drip irrigation has enabled Abdul Qahir to fertilize and feed the orchards with less water, increasing the productivity of orchards by 50% and reducing the water loss by 70%.  

As part of the project, the citrus growers are provided with a power system, drip irrigation materials, training and an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) kit. Until now, 31 citrus growers have received solar panels and drip irrigation system and trained on usage of orchard management tools. UNODC along with ANHDO plans to reach remaining 470 target farmers by July 2020.

 

Funding Source: Japan and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)/ US Department of State