Afghanistan: Community-Driven Irrigation Management
The project will support Afghanistan to strengthen water resources management in rural areas. The proposed project is expected to comprise 3 outputs: (i) modernization of community based irrigation schemes, (ii) construction of small-scale rainwater harvesting structures for sustainable land management, and (iii) application of water and energy efficiency in local water management. Support will include policy support and technical assistance to strengthen O&M and rural asset management and to promote innovation.
Central and West Asia Department
Request for information
- Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
|Project Name||Community-Driven Irrigation Management|
|Country / Economy||Afghanistan
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Grant
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
|Sector / Subsector||
Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Irrigation - Water-based natural resources management
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The project will support Afghanistan to strengthen water resources management in rural areas. The proposed project is expected to comprise 3 outputs: (i) modernization of community based irrigation schemes, (ii) construction of small-scale rainwater harvesting structures for sustainable land management, and (iii) application of water and energy efficiency in local water management. Support will include policy support and technical assistance to strengthen O&M and rural asset management and to promote innovation.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Agriculture and other rural-based activities remain the predominant engine of economic growth for Afghanistan. The agricultural sector contributed about 20% to the national GDP in 2017, and provides employment and livelihood for at least 40% of the population. While women account for nearly 43% of the sector's labor force and play a critical role in agriculture and food security, they still remain on the periphery with limited access to productive resources. Afghan women are still under-represented in local Community Development Councils (CDC) and water user associations (WUA), and, compared to Afghan men, have little access to decision-making.
The coverage of irrigated agriculture stalled or even declined from 3.1 million ha in 1957 to less than 2.8 million ha in 2016. Considering that the population in Afghanistan is expected to grow from the current 31.6 million in 2018 to about 40 and 50 million in 2030 and 2040, respectively, the Government is concerned about food security in Afghanistan. Wheat production, a key indicator used for food security in Afghanistan, has been directly linked with the reliability of irrigation systems, particularly during the critical months of June and July. In 2018, growth in agriculture shrank from 3.8% to 2.0% as drought affected more than half of the country, causing wheat production to fall by 71% in rainfed fields and by 6% in the much smaller irrigated area.
Water resources are under stress because of poor management and water shortages, particularly for irrigated agriculture. The subsequent low water productivity is a result of (i) outdated and inadequate rural irrigation infrastructure, (ii) limited capacity to adapt to changing climatic conditions, and (iii) insufficient usage of technological innovations widely applied in other rural areas in the world. Many local farmer communities lack the knowledge or resources to make a change and initiate more sustainable water resources management practices, and ensure adequate operation and maintenance arrangements for their local irrigation systems.
Notable improvements have been made to improve the sustainability of rural infrastructure, but a much larger effort is needed. Firstly, the number of small communities that need support largely outnumbers the coverage of existing programs. MRRD estimated that about 18,400 communities are waiting for support, while 12,000 already benefitted over the last 3 years from the CCNPP. Secondly, the impacts of climate change, i.e. higher temperatures and the increasing occurrence of extreme flood or drought events, are increasingly being felt by local communities. For example, local irrigation systems are more often damaged by local floods, while increasing numbers of the traditional karizes systems are drying up due to the lack of upstream infiltration. Lastly, technological innovations are not reaching sufficient farmers. Significant improvements in water productivity could be made through the precision (laser) land leveling, the sustainable usage of solar energy, and water balance studies using remote sensing data freely available online.
Aligned with improved livelihood opportunities for rural communities.
Increased agricultural productivity.
|Outcome||Water productivity in rural areas improved.|
Community-based irrigation schemes modernized.
Climate resilient farming approaches demonstrated.
Water and energy efficiency technologies in local water management applied.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||All structures to be developed under the Project are relatively small and possible minor environmental impacts can be mitigated.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The Government assured that no physical resettlement of people will be necessary for the project. Possible compensation may be needed for minor physical impact of land or crops, in line with a to be developed resettlement framework.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The Government explained that Afghanistan is inhabited by ethnic groups across its 34 provinces, but that none of these groups are considered indigenous peoples as defined in the SPS for operational purposes.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
|Consulting Services||ADB will engage the consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions. CWRD will select, supervise and evaluate consultants. The consultants will procure office equipment, which will be handed over to the MRRD upon completion of the TA.|
|Procurement||It is proposed to classify the project as category A, mainly because of the general security risks in the Afghanistan. No complex or high-risk procurement arrangements are expected. The project will primarily use community contracting as the main procurement method. All contract will likely consist of relative small community contract packages, which is considered suitable for the local conditions in Afghanistan. The MRRD, the implementing agency, has a good track record with successfully implementing participatory community contracting, including for ADB projects. Procurement capacity of the implementing agency will further be assessed during early stage of the TA for the specific requirement for the project. Additional training will be provided during TA and project implementation.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||ADB Disclosure|
|Responsible ADB Department||Central and West Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD|
|Concept Clearance||18 Oct 2019|
|Fact Finding||18 May 2020 to 29 May 2020|
|MRM||23 Aug 2021|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||02 Jun 2020|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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