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Afghanistan: Strengthening Water Resource Management Systems

Strengthening Watershed and Irrigation Management (SWIM)


Agriculture is the foundation of Afghanistan’s economy. Approximately 80% of the population work in agriculture, and the sector contributes to 24% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Low agricultural productivity in Afghanistan translates into high levels of rural poverty and stagnant economic growth. Improved irrigation and associated agro-technologies offer a means to bolster farm income. USAID SWIM contributes to professional public administration in the agriculture-related ministries and promotes key economic sectors. SWIM works with the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to identify overlapping areas related to the governance of the water sector.


The USAID SWIM project supports agriculture-led economic growth by increasing the sustainable and productive use of water and strengthening water resource management in northern Afghanistan. Implemented through three integrated components, SWIM’s specific objectives are to increase the sustainable use of water in agriculture, strengthen the water regulatory framework, and reinforce the capacity of local entities to manage water resources.

Goals and Results

To date, SWIM’s significant milestones have been:

  • Developed 9 Integrated Watershed Management Plans.
  • Trained 155 of MAIL, MEW, and National Environment Protection Agency staff.
  • Trained more than 21,747 farmers in on-farm and watershed management.
  • Precision land leveled 1,717 hectares of land.
  • Established and or strengthened 146 Irrigation Associations, Water User Associations, and Forestry Associations.
  • Installed nearly 129 demonstration plots with improved drip irrigation.
  • Established 12 women’s groups to provide a platform for irrigation trainings.
2016 - 2021
Implemented by
DT Global US
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