Our Healthy Afghan Farm initiative is a women’s economic program that trains women in the agricultural and entrepreneurial skills necessary to run small, economically viable urban farms. Our pilot for this project is our PARSA Farm at Marastoon, which we have created as a model “Learn and Earn” program that teaches women important skills while allowing them to earn an income from the sale of the products that they harvest and produce in our gardens. The women also learn how to train other women in the skills they acquire.
“Learn and Earn” Program at our PARSA Farm
“Learn” Component: Agriculture and literacy training
- Learn how to grow and process marketable agriculture products
- Learn hygienic dairy, process and canning processes
- Learn agricultural skills in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture including: irrigation systems, maximizing the use of garden crops, beekeeping, caring for cows and chickens, working in a greenhouse
- Learn how to market their products
- Participate in literacy classes
- Learn how to train other women
“Earn” Component: Earning an income by selling their own products instead of receiving an income. Women earn money from:
- Selling products grown and harvested at the PARSA farm
- Selling dairy and poultry products (fresh milk and eggs) to staff and neighbors
- Making small items for the PARSA gift shop
- Taking home fresh milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables to their families and to sell to their neighbors
In the future we plan to expand this program to include more participants in our pilot PARSA Farm at Marastoon, and also to support the women who have completed their training in opening their own small urban farms and subsequently training other women in their communities the skills they learned at PARSA.
We also plan to add new aspects to the program, such as beekeeping, raising goats for milk, making cheese and yogurt, and planting new crops.
To learn more please take a look at some of our posts relating to our PARSA Farm in our Living and Working in Afghanistan Blog.