The Kandahar Food Zone (KFZ) project in Afghanistan examines the root causes of poppy cultivation in the region and attempts to strengthen and diversify licit rural livelihoods while providing opportunities for behavior change through job training.
To improve agricultural infrastructure, IRD rehabilitated irrigation canals in the Panjwayi and Zhari districts of Kandahar province, reaching 19,093 hectares of agricultural land. These improvements will benefit over 20,000 households and over 228,000 program participants. In addition, the rehabilitation projects have provided 1,200 local jobs thus far.
IRD implements several alternative livelihood initiatives through the KFZ Program which include the establishment of green houses in seven districts; pre- and post-harvest and marketing training in seven districts; solar drying for fruits and vegetables in five districts; vegetable production and processing jobs for women in five districts; vocational mechanical maintenance in six districts; and vocational training in masonry in three districts.
To grow this effort, IRD conducts capacity building training for its partner staff in the areas of CBPSA-PC, Gender, GIS and legal framework (strategy and policy). To date, over 265 government officials have been trained with a total of 64 training days provided. IRD has also conducted 44 Community-Based Planning to Support Alternatives of Poppy Cultivation sessions which allow community members to discuss their needs and grievances.
The final aspect of KFZ is Shamal, a central IT system that captures and processes informational needs for program staff and donors through the following functional modules: Geographic Information System & Associated Application; Document Management; Project Management; Reporting Dashboards; Data Management Engine; Field Data Collection; and a Training Resource Portal. These modules allow for interaction with varied data sets in a collaborative environment with USAID, MCN and other donors and partners.