Afghanistan: Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 48042-001

The project will increase agricultural productivity in the Panj-Amu River Basin through improving access and use of water at farm, scheme and river levels. The project will support the government strategy, which aims to increase per-capita income and reduce poverty among rural and pastoral communities. It will improve cropping intensities, irrigated areas, and crop yields on a command area of 74,500 hectares (ha) and as a result, increase annual farm incomes in the range $123-615 per household for over 55,000 households, and create approximately 11,000 full-time rural jobs per annum, with an estimated value of $10.4 million. The project will also improve food security, substitute imports for wheat, and improve self-sufficiency, and increase in exports of high-value products such as fruit and nuts. The project will also create more economic opportunities for agribusiness development, particularly for input suppliers and processors of and market intermediaries for agricultural products.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    ADB Disclosure
    Central and West Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country
    Afghanistan
  • Modality
    • Grant
  • Sector
    • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project
Project Number 48042-001
Country Afghanistan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0506-AFG: Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 26.00 million
Grant 0507-AFG: Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project
European Union US$ 50.00 million
Grant 0747-AFG: Panj Amu River Basin Sector Project - Additional Financing
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 18.28 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural drainage - Irrigation - Rural flood protection

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description The project will increase agricultural productivity in the Panj-Amu River Basin through improving access and use of water at farm, scheme and river levels. The project will support the government strategy, which aims to increase per-capita income and reduce poverty among rural and pastoral communities. It will improve cropping intensities, irrigated areas, and crop yields on a command area of 74,500 hectares (ha) and as a result, increase annual farm incomes in the range $123-615 per household for over 55,000 households, and create approximately 11,000 full-time rural jobs per annum, with an estimated value of $10.4 million. The project will also improve food security, substitute imports for wheat, and improve self-sufficiency, and increase in exports of high-value products such as fruit and nuts. The project will also create more economic opportunities for agribusiness development, particularly for input suppliers and processors of and market intermediaries for agricultural products.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries in the world. The poverty headcount rate is 39% and the percentage of food insecure population is 33%. Average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita during the 2011-2015 period is $634, causing Afghanistan to rank 168th out of 183 countries reviewed by the World Bank. Agriculture is Afghanistan's major sources of livelihood, employs 79% of the national work force, and is a significant source of national income. Agriculture contributes significantly to Afghanistan's GDP, although this has been decreasing from 38% in 2002 to 22% in 2014 . The country's major staple crop is wheat, representing 60% of Afghan's daily dietary intake. With total production output of 5.37 million tons in 2015, Afghanistan relies heavily on import to meet its population's dietary energy requirements with an import dependency of 16% of total food demand. This level of dependency is growing 11% per annum. Food insecurity is prevalent throughout the country, but most critical in the north where food insecurity index is as high as 73% in the provinces of Badakhshan and Bamyan.



Afghanistan is a dry country with precipitation falling as snow falls in the winter, while crops require water in the summer. Limited access to irrigation water is a key binding constraint to agricultural productivity, besides low quality inputs and traditional agricultural practices. While the vast majority of Afghans depends on agriculture for a living, only 12% (or 64.4 million ha) of the country's terrain is arable. Rain-fed area is currently of 3.7 million ha and irrigated area 3.8 million ha, each representing about 5-6% of total arable land. Of the total irrigated area of 3.8 million ha, it is estimated that around 2.2 million ha are single or double cropped every year, with balance of 1.6 million ha being irrigated if and when water is available, at intervals of 2-6 years.



Sporadic irrigation has been the primary cause for crop yields below the world average, for example average wheat yield of 2.03 tons/ha in 2013 (world average of 3.27 tons/ha) and average rice yield 2.5 tons/ha in 2013 (world average of 4.5 tons/ha). Irrigated yields are observed to be significantly greater than rain-fed yields, for example, the irrigated wheat yield is 2.5 times that of rain-fed. With irrigated areas producing 69% of total wheat outputs, irrigation water is a critical high value factor for yield improvement.



Expansion of new irrigated areas has been examined on a number of projects, but high capital cost outlays make it economically infeasible. Improving access to irrigations water on existing irrigation systems also has number of constraints, including: (i) inequitable distribution of water both at the river level (between schemes) as a result of lack of capacity, tools and resources within the government for river basin management, and at the command area level (within schemes) as a result of lack of formal consultation and distribution mechanisms (user rights) and breakdown of the mirab structure; and (ii) dilapidated and inefficient state of irrigation infrastructure due to inadequate operation and maintenance (O&M), a lack of capacity to scale up investment due to inadequate water use fee collection and government capacity and resources, and damage to infrastructure through flooding as a result of upstream erosion leading to high abstraction rates and increased flash flooding, as a result of poor upper catchment conservation.

Impact Per capita income increased and poverty among rural and pastoral communities reduced.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Agricultural productivity in the Panj Amu River Basin increased
Progress Toward Outcome Several activities under the project have been started to contribute in achieving this target. So far, two civil works through NCB and two consulting services contracts have been awarded, and procurement of several contracts of civil works through community participation and NCB is underway which are anticipated to be awarded by end of November 2018. Delays in the procurement process of feasibility studies and detailed design (FSDD) contract has slowed down procurement and award under the project. FSDD was awarded in June 2018 and the firm is now on board which will facilitate further award under the grant by end of Q4 2018.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Water allocation and availability improved

Command areas enhanced

Watersheds properly managed and protected

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Physical activities of the project were started in early 2017 and so far, two contracts of civil works have been awarded. Several contracts of civil works for main canal rehabilitation and upgrading will be awarded in Q1 2019. The main delay in awarding more contracts under the project is due to the late award of FSDD which was awarded in June 2018. FSDD will conduct feasibility studies and design of subprojects under the grant. Establishment of water user associations.

Works for rehabilitation of secondary and tertiary have also been started and one civil works contract through NCB has been awarded. Procurement of several civil works contract through NCB and community contracts for the rehabilitation of watershed are under process, which are anticipated to be awarded by end of Q4 2018 and early Q1 2019. The consulting services contractor for implementation support consultancy (ISC) and FSDD are on board which will provide support to MEW for establishing WUA and registration.

Geographical Location Badakhshan, Kunduz, Takhar
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The project is categorized B for environment. An IEE will be prepared to describe (i) the project area baseline environment; (ii) the physical and non-physical works; (iii) the potential impacts of these works; (iv) an environmental management plan (EMP); (v) a description of residual impacts remaining after EMP implementation; and (vi) recommendations for additional studies if required.
Involuntary Resettlement The project is categorized B for involuntary resettlement. A land acquisition and resettlement plan will be prepared. It is anticipated that additional land may be required for the canal widening and cleaning activities, leading to involuntary land acquisition. The project preparatory consultants will verify the types and magnitude of impacts and prepare a land acquisition and resettlement plan, in consultation with the potentially affected persons.
Indigenous Peoples The project is Category C for indigenous peoples impact. The Project does not trigger safeguards for and requirements from indigenous peoples under SPS (2009) and no indigenous development framework or plan is required. Afghanistan is inhabited by ethnic groups across its 34 provinces. None of these groups may be considered as IP communities based on the SPS (2009) definition of IP for operational purposes. The project area is not known to be a part of Kuchi nomadic groups seasonal migration areas.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design A stakeholder analysis will identify the poor and excluded who should participate in and be involved in the process of the design and decision on project packages during project preparation. In addition a capacity development component under the proposed project will be proposed to help build the capacity of WUAs to address farmers' demands and complaints. Irrigation projects by definition benefit those with land more than the landless, who are usually the poorest. Irrigation improvement however has indirect effects on local employment especially in terms of productivity gains and improved maintenance.
During Project Implementation

The PMU will ensure stakeholder consultations with communities and affected parties are held.

Project design process and feasibility study are on-going

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Advance contracting is expected to recruit implementation support consultancy, feasibility study and detailed design, and works contract for three representative subprojects.
Procurement NCB (Works) for 16 contracts worth $49.14 million; NCB (Goods) for 1 contract worth $0.26 million; Shopping (Goods) for 16 contracts worth $0.49 million; CPP for 32 contracts worth $3.14 million.
Responsible ADB Officer ADB Disclosure
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Afghanistan Resident Mission
Timetable
Concept Clearance 30 Sep 2014
Fact Finding 03 Jun 2016 to 14 Jun 2016
MRM 16 Aug 2016
Approval 26 Oct 2016
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Sep 2018

Grant 0506-AFG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
26 Oct 2016 02 Nov 2016 09 Dec 2016 31 May 2023 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 26.75 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 26.00 07 Sep 2021 10.64 0.00 41%
Counterpart 0.75 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 07 Sep 2021 4.94 0.00 19%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory - - Satisfactory

Grant 0507-AFG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
26 Oct 2016 02 Nov 2016 09 Dec 2016 31 May 2023 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 50.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 07 Sep 2021 0.00 39.85 80%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 50.00 07 Sep 2021 0.00 20.00 40%

Grant 0747-AFG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Oct 2020 09 Nov 2020 10 Dec 2020 31 May 2023 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 18.53 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 18.28 07 Sep 2021 0.45 0.00 2%
Counterpart 0.25 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 07 Sep 2021 2.00 0.00 11%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory - - Satisfactory

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