WFP's beekeeping project helps alleviate poverty in Kandahar

By Rahimullah Khpelwak

The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting 80 families in Kandahar who have lost their breadwinner in the war through a year-long beekeeping project. The project is implemented by the local non-governmental organisation Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA). The project provides training and equipment to help families start beekeeping businesses. Beekeeping is a sustainable and profitable way to generate income and it can also help to improve the environment. [Rahimullah Khpelwak/Salaam Times]

KANDAHAR -- The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting dozens of families without a breadwinner in Kandahar through beekeeping farms.

Eighty families in Arghandab district who lost their breadwinner in the war are benefiting from the year-long aid project.

The WFP project is implemented by local non-governmental organisation Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA).

Each family will receive beekeeping equipment worth 30,000 AFN ($341), the CHA representative in Kandahar, Mukhtar Ahmad Ehsas, told Salaam Times.

A beekeeper in Kandahar city checks on his bees on May 22. The beekeeper is part of a project by the World Food Programme (WFP) to help families in Kandahar who do not have breadwinners. [Rahimullah Khpelwak/Salaam Times]

A beekeeper in Kandahar city checks on his bees on May 22. The beekeeper is part of a project by the World Food Programme (WFP) to help families in Kandahar who do not have breadwinners. [Rahimullah Khpelwak/Salaam Times]

"The equipment includes a bee box, honey extraction machine, 25kg of sugar, a beekeeping suit, and some medicines for bees," he said. "This assistance will provide sustainable income for families that do not have a breadwinner."

The project started in Arghandab district and will expand to other parts of Kandahar, Ehsas said. "We trained these families for six months in beekeeping and they are now ready to work."

The project includes poultry farming, animal husbandry and home gardens that will be provided to widows and families without a breadwinner as well.

The WFP project will save impoverished families from poverty, said Mohammad Hamid, director of the Animal Husbandry unit in the Kandahar Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.

"The climate in Arghandab is favourable for beekeeping and could yield positive results. On the one hand, these bee farms create employment for families that have no breadwinner, and on the other, they increase honey production in Kandahar," he noted.

"The project addresses the economic problems of impoverished families in a sustainable manner," he added. "These families will be able to provide for themselves for many years to come through beekeeping."

Professional beekeepers

The families who fell into poverty after losing their breadwinner in the war are excited about the prospect of becoming self-sufficient.

Sediqullah, 70, a resident of Arghandab, lost his two adult sons in the war, leaving him responsible for his eight orphaned grandchildren and two widowed daughters-in-law.

WFP has provided one bee farm to each of his son's families.

Not only does the assistance address his family's economic problems, but he can send his grandchildren to school with peace of mind, he said.

"The aid provided to our widows and orphans is very valuable," he said. "We have been suffering from severe poverty and economic problems. It pains me to see my grandchildren not having proper food to eat, but I am hopeful that this assistance will improve our lives."

"My plea to the aid agencies is to continue their support to the impoverished people of Afghanistan. In the current situation, the poor have no hope except assistance from aid agencies," he added.

Abdullah, 38, another resident of Arghandab, said that establishing bee farms is a great assistance that will enable him to provide for his family in the long term.

Abdullah lost his older brother four years ago in the war and is responsible for his brother's seven children.

"I was sick from poverty and unemployment, and finding dry bread had become a major concern for me," he said.

"Agricultural lands had no yields because of drought, while we have no other source of income. I am very happy to be getting a bee farm and will now be able to provide for my family," he said, proudly adding that he can now "professionally breed bees and collect honey".

Sustainable income

The United Nations (UN)'s infrastructure and agriculture projects in Afghanistan are providing sustainable income for impoverished Afghans, say economists.

UN assistance such as the beekeeping project addresses the economic problems of impoverished Afghans in the short run but additionally provides them a source of income in the long run, said Abdul Qadeer Noorzai, an economist in Kandahar city.

"Implementation of infrastructure projects is more effective than the aid that is distributed daily," he added. "Development projects, whether in reconstruction or agriculture, have provided thousands of jobs."

UN projects prevent the spread of poverty and unemployment, while creating hope for the future, Noorzai said.

"While these projects have addressed immediate needs, they also ensure future income."

In addition to the UN's cash and food assistance to the poor, infrastructure projects play a critical role in the future of Afghanistan, said Sayed Ashraf Sadaat, a civil society activist in Herat.

"Work on all large and small infrastructure projects stopped following the collapse of the previous government, leaving thousands without a job," he said.

"But the resumption of work on some paused projects and the launch of new ones by international aid agencies have reanimated the pulse of reconstruction in Afghanistan," he added.

"Given the growing economic crisis, poverty and unemployment, half of the country's population would have migrated to neighbouring countries had the UN not invested in infrastructure and development projects," Sadaat said.

"Aid by the UN and donor countries has saved Afghanistan from a catastrophe."

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Well, they are done. The number of such projects may increase, thanks to the implementers, as they help people experiencing poverty. Those who collect orphans and small children in the streets and roads in the name of humanitarian aid should create job opportunities and engage the people. And if the organizations want to cooperate with us Afghans, they should understand our priorities and then work. For example, constructing large and small electricity dams will also irrigate the land, increase yield, and prevent famine. It will also prevent drought. People will be busy working in their fields and gardens. Likewise, if investments are made in wind and solar power, the same companies that have invested will benefit, and our fellow citizens will be saved from loss. Our people are impoverished, but every month they pay so many electricity bills that they cannot afford it, and they light only one bulb to make light. I read the news of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat [Afghanistan Electricity Company]. In two weeks of this year's solar month of Sawar, AFN 15 million and 500 thousand have been collected from Logar, Kandahar, Farah, Zabul, and Paktia provinces and handed over to the state treasury. This money from our poor people goes back to other countries. For example, the head of the electricity company and the director of commercial affairs said a few days ago at the meeting while presenting the annual report of this agency, that in the year 2022, in exchange for the imported elec


Three or four years ago, I was a reporter with a local media outlet. I was interviewing small business owners for the morning show. They supported their families by selling vegetables, soup, dumplings, corn, etc. They paid house rent, and some paid fees for their children in private schools, courses, and universities. We asked them how they run their businesses with little money and how much they earn. When I interviewed them, most were happy with their businesses. It means that small businesses grow slowly, but if someone has the courage and is given a hand in the beginning. Many of our young people can run a small business well, but they do not have the necessary resources. I am in favor of the fact that if organizations help someone, they should build small businesses for them. They can build water dams; they can invest in large electricity dams because the priorities of our country and people should be recognized and worked on. Yesterday, UNAMA wrote that it started a program in Afghanistan to get people away from using plastics. They said, "People know that plastic pollutes the environment." So I say, guys understand our priority and act accordingly. People will use less plastic over time, but first, you may care about electricity, employment, construction of educational institutions, and regular salary for teachers.


It is true that the residents of Kandahar and its neighboring provinces suffered a lot during the 20-year period of the republic, and it is better to pay more attention to them, but at the same time, the residents of other provinces such as Bamyan, Sarepol, Daikundi, Uruzgan... are also poor and unemployed. One of the reasons why the residents of the mentioned provinces are poorer is that they are far from the borders of the country. Among the provinces that border with Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, there are relatively more job opportunities because there is a lot of trades between the countries.


The people of Afghanistan are stuck in poverty, unemployment and hunger; however, the United Nations Organization has created work opportunities for many people in Afghanistan. Now the WFP beekeeping project helps to reduce poverty in Kandahar. With this help, families without a breadwinner find a piece of bread and are saved from unemployment for a while. This project is short-term, but if people are careful and work, they will have long-term income, and we demand that similar projects be implemented in other provinces of Afghanistan too. We thank the United Nations and the WFP beekeeping project, which help the people of Afghanistan in this difficult situation of unemployment and poverty, and provide them with work.


In terms of area, Kandahar has vast areas. Some districts of Kandahar have famous greenery. It should be noted that the Arghandab district of Kandahar, which is renowned for its pomegranates, is very green. During the year, the farmers in this province grow different crops, including sunflowers, basil, etc. It has been said that these crops are still not enough. It would be good if, along with raising bees in rural areas, agriculture that has a constructive role in honey production be recommended to the farmers. This way, the farmers will get the benefits of honey and agriculture. Another thing is that dairy production in Kandahar has brought about positive changes in people's lives. This way, we request WFP and other charities to help farmers of those provinces who work with the bees and produce the honey to produce dairy products and present them to the market.


My name is Akhond Zada Ebrat from Kandahar Afghanistan,
My Cell phone number 93700330452 .
My Whatsap Number 93700330452 .
Please i need emergency help in Afghanistan i and my children are in very poor and bad situation need emergency foodstuffs and dry milk for my children and we are very low on food do not have enough foodstuffs and dry milk for my children Please try your best and save my children lives,
I will very appreciate you to help us.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon
Very Sincerely Akhond Zada Ebrat.