Building Trust and Local Institutions
Our program was launched by drinking tea with local and provincial leaders – shuras and Community Development Councils (CDCs). These ongoing consultations lay the groundwork for program design and implementation. GPFA begins not with the goal of doing things for people or simply funding projects people want to do; rather, we respect their views and share ideas to realize existing possibilities and bring new approaches to the table.
Through consultation with community leaders, we identify farmers – whether recently returned refugees, ex-combatants, young people, widows/single female heads of household or simply the poor – who lack working capital to buy quality trees and supplies and up-to-date knowledge to rebuild the successful horticultural and forestry businesses that once supplied 40% of Afghanistan’s export income. Then farmer-entrepreneurs agree to supply their own land and commit to work it. GPFA delivers the trees, supplies and training that enable farmers to launch tree-based businesses to rebuild livelihoods. Local shuras provide security and other support. As programs progress, farmers contribute more resources.