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Afghanistan: Joint WFP, FEW SNET, MAIL - Pre-Harvest Assessment (June 2014)

Since 2008, the pre-harvest assessment has become a tool for decision-making processes regarding food insecurity response in Afghanistan. By undertaking the pre-harvest assessment, the World Food Program (WFP), the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) cooperate to provide information to donors, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), and other stakeholders to gain a greater understanding of what occurred during the agricultural production season and recent or potential shocks that are likely to impact food security over the coming consumption year. The assessment provides an initial, qualitative estimate of the level of domestic production of wheat and of key cash crops. In cases where below-average production is expected, the pre-harvest assessment helps define which areas are most affected and in which areas further research and investigation are necessary to determine the likely severity and prevalence of acute food insecurity. This assessment has also been referred to as the pre-crop assessment or the food security appraisal survey in some years. The assessment does not only emphasize domestic agricultural production, though agricultural production influences both food availability and household food access. The assessment provides information about other key determinants of food access from markets, including major sources of income in rural areas such as livestock prices and agricultural labor wage rates. The assessment examines the livelihood options available to poor households to better inform how humanitarian response can complement households’ existing livelihoods and coping strategies.
The assessment was conducted in 70 districts in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. The assessment consists of three survey modules. The first module is for the staff of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations (UN) agencies, or other organizations working in humanitarian relief, development, or agriculture. The second module is for the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock’s (DAIL) provincial offices. The third survey module is for community-level/village-level focus group discussions based on the rapid rural appraisal (RRA) methodology’s reliance on self-reporting by communities. This third module is used in at least in two districts in each province, including at least one area with intensive irrigation and one area with less or no access to irrigation where appropriate. In each of the two districts, two communities/villages are surveyed, usually one focusing on an upstream area that is likely to have better water access and one in a more downstream area. This year, due to the highly diverse livelihoods and high chronic levels of food insecurity, four districts in Badakhshan were assessed. While not a large-scale, scientific survey, triangulation and other techniques are used to asses each province’s likely overall crop production and current and most likely food security outcomes.
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
15 May 2014

Level of Representation

Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Key Informant Interview
Focus group discussion
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
Famine Early Warning Systems Network
Government of Afghanistan - Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock
World Food Programme