Solar Panels Power Rural Agriculture Offices

CBCMP-II installed solar panels in three offices in Nangarhar Province

For civil servants working in the local offices of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, there are many challenges to their daily work. A stable electricity supply is one of the main obstacles that keeps them from providing good services to Afghan farmers and herders.

To tackle this issue, the Capacity Building and Change Management Program II (CBCMP-II) installed solar panels in three local offices in Nangarhar Province. Together, these three offices serve more than 13,000 farmers who cultivate 28,000 hectares of land, making them the most important agriculture offices in the region.

In addition to the solar panels, the program provides technology, equipment, and long-term, on-the-job training to civil servants to improve their skills. Across Afghanistan, in 20 regional and 40 local agriculture ministry offices, CBCMP-II has deployed ‘change management specialists’ who are embedded throughout the ministry and work side-by-side with civil servants. The goal of the program is to strengthen the human and institutional capacity of the ministry to provide better services to Afghan farmers and herders.

The improvements to the civil servants’ working environments have been dramatic.

“Whenever we needed to prepare a document, we had to go to [the office] in Jalalabad, which is almost 50 kilometers away. Now, with all new equipment and stable electricity, we can print and produce our documents in a timely manner, and efficiently communicate with farmers,” said Aziz Ullah, agriculture manager in Kama District.

“We provided all necessary equipment to make these local Ag offices functional, and our staff have been training civil servants to adopt new technologies and improved administrative practices to increase their work efficiency and expertise,” said Noor Seddiq, who directs the program in Afghanistan.

The agriculture sector is critically important to Afghanistan’s economy and future development, since about 80 percent of the population relies on agriculture for its livelihood, either directly or indirectly.

The Capacity Building and Change Management Program II runs through July 2017.

This story is made possible with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of IESC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.