Mir Abdullah, 25, looks on with satisfaction as water is being pumped out of a well, irrigating different areas of his persimmon and plum orchard. Farmers like Abdullah used to plant different kinds of fruit trees in one area, not knowing much about tree diseases, or how to irrigate properly.
"If I do horticulture in a better way as a government project has taught me, I can earn up to $35,000 a year," says Abdullah, 25. "In the past, I had no income from the horticulture work I did. We used to do horticulture just enough for household consumption."
With the help of the National Horticulture and Livestock Project (NHLP), Abdullah now knows how best to put his five-jerib land (1 hectare) to maximum use. "I have learnt a lot this year from NHLP officers and have gained more experience, which has given me a better understanding of horticulture," he says.
NHLP activities in Khost Province have taught farmers the best practices in farming, encouraging and motivating them to use a modern orchard system. Abdullah is one such enthusiastic farmer: "Having an organized system of horticulture will definitely make us very satisfied and happy. In Khost, our orchards are now modern, very neat and ordered, as it is based on NHLP guidance. There is a good variety of trees and NHLP has taught us to plant them in a very different way from how we did in the past."