The Global Partnership for Afghanistan is a people-to-people, capacity-building, not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2002. Founded by Afghan-Americans and Americans, GPFA helps rural Afghan families restore their fruit and nut orchards, woodlots, vineyards, nurseries and family gardens. To date, with help from GPFA and its supporters, some 1,000 farm families have revitalized their farm businesses, each with the potential to grow as farmers increase their skills and produce fruit, vegetables and wood that match market demand. To date, GPFA's farmers have planted or revitalized more than 1 million trees in commercial orchard, nursery and woodlot businesses supported by GPFA. As of 2008, GPFA's planting activities are projected to yield more than 1.5 million trees, generating increased food, environmental and health benefits, and in time income that rivals the profit from poppies.
The Global Partnership for Afghanistan works for the re-greening of Afghanistan. From forests to farms, we aim to help Afghans who are reviving orchards, vineyards, woodlots, nurseries and their economy. We also support environmental renewal for the public good through restoring lost forests and planting new ones in areas of great need. Our projects aim for sustainable employment and development. Through loans and other incentives, training, new methodologies, materials and technical support, and partnerships with local communities, we support all who work the land in projects that will be self-perpetuating.
Supported by GPFA agricultural experts, Afghan farmers are investing their land and hard work to create new tree-based businesses. Now farmers in four provinces will soon have businesses that encompass 1.5 million trees. GPFA’s projects are designed to integrate farmer skills, resources, and community-based natural resource management and achieve rapid financial sustainability through technical and business training, capacity development and farm-to-market linkages. As GPFA accesses additional funds, we will broadly replicate these projects across Afghanistan. In addition to horticultural trees, Afghanistan urgently needs trees for construction, fuel and environmental restoration. In 2004, GPFA launched trials of imported hybrid poplar clones on farmers' land in Afghanistan. These trees grew faster and taller than traditional local varieties. In 2005, some 40,000 of the best performing cuttings were planted in woodlots and nurseries, enabling GPFA and farmers to harvest 3-5 cuttings per tree the following year. Now farmer-run private poplar nurseries are producing cuttings and trees which are being sold at market as well as for use by other farmers. This enables the rapid replication of the project as an ever-expanding group of farmers establish their own private nurseries and woodlots which generate income for participants within a year. Working with the local Shura (council of elders) beginning in 2004, GPFA launched a series of pilot projects to support the redevelopment of private nursery and fruit orchard businesses and vineyards in the Guldara District of Kabul Province. With Afghanistan desperately short of high quality nursery stock, GPFA began farmer-owned nursery businesses to provide secure supplies of saplings for future expansion. At the same time, we incubated a number of additional orchard businesses, supplying two-year-old tree saplings, fertilizer, tools and training. Farmers receive training and technical support through field visits from GPFA’s agronomists who help farmers improve cultivation, manage pests and apply fertilizer. The pilot businesses are now producing income from the sale of fruit, vegetables and trees for resale. As orchards reach full production, they are expected to generate attractive returns—several thousand dollars per year—that compete well with poppy income. GPFA is helping widows and other women to significantly increase their harvest and income with training in current best practices and access to quality planting materials and tools, much of this provided via credit. Soon we will help them with food preservation and marketing. That increased knowledge will pay off for years to come — with increased income, food supplies and family nutrition.
We help Afghan families, whose lives have been disrupted by decades of war and oppression, obtain the simple resources needed to rebuild their traditional livelihoods and restore the environmental sustainability of their ancient land. Through GPFA's on-site assistance, a rapidly expanding number of farmers are developing fruit and nut orchards, woodlots and nurseries into viable businesses. Steadily, their agricultural economy is beginning to revive and their beautiful country is becoming green again.
PO Box 1237 New York, NY 10276 Phone: (212) 735-2080 http://www.gpfa.org EIN: 41-2060153
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