Through the Alternative Development Program – Southwest (ADP/SW), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tetra Tech developed opportunities in Southwestern Afghanistan for smallholder farmers and laborers to generate incomes that are equal to or greater than those realized through growing poppy. Tetra Tech created valid alternatives to poppy production in the provinces of Farah, Helmand, Nimroz, and Uruzgan through the introduction of high-value agriculture such as tree crops and vines, poultry and livestock, and specialty crops and vegetables. Growing alternative crops provided sustainable incomes for farming households, while raising poultry helped farmers further diversify their sources of income.

ADP/SW aimed to increase commercial agricultural opportunities, improve agricultural productivity, create rural employment, and enhance family incomes and well-being.

Tetra Tech used an integrated strategy, which combined the introduction of high-value agriculture and marketing and business development strategies. This approach helped solidify weak links in the region’s key agricultural value chains while also strengthening farming prospects in four impoverished, isolated Southwestern provinces. Working with USAID and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Tetra Tech facilitated infrastructure improvements and enhanced farming and business practices. By identifying the weak points in the value chains, Tetra Tech helped achieve ADP/SW’s key objective of improving economic and social infrastructure, while enabling farmers and entrepreneurs to create lasting jobs and income opportunities. We fostered local ownership and sustainability of program activities by forging strategic partnerships between farmers, private entrepreneurs, business organizations, Afghan provincial governments, local councils, community leaders, and nongovernmental organizations.

Infrastructure improvements included road rehabilitations, canal irrigation, and other structures that were built through cash-for-work programs that provided employment and income to rural villagers. To strengthen the resources needed for farmers and entrepreneurs to maintain efficient and profitable production, Tetra Tech worked to enhance their practices by increasing the availability of certified seed, fertilizer, and training. 

In addition to creating more than 1,500 full-time jobs, Tetra Tech’s solutions increased the volume of agricultural production by 955 percent (233,000 metric tons), resulting in a 1,452 percent rise in the value of production ($148 million). The project also impacted 26,000 families in 201 villages by improving irrigation systems, allowing 51,000 hectares of land to be cultivated for crop and poultry production. In addition, Tetra Tech trained 7,400 farmers on efficient production practices and business development strategies. Nearly a third of the trainees were women—many of whom have since become greenhouse mangers and poultry farmers. By distributing more than 3,200 metric tons of livestock feed, the project was able to benefit the incomes and livelihoods of 15,000 families.