Tractor Supply Stores in Afghanistan?!

potato farming

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What?  This case study is based on journal article that I read recently.  The majority of development research concludes that the agriculture sector leads the way in developing countries.  This makes sense as people are able to grow more than what is needed for their family they are able to sell  the excess produce. The format of the article was that of what we would typically see in a journal article.  But as I read the article, I was able to see that the author was essentially explaining the current situation, identifying the gap, explaining the need for change and determining the obstacles to change.  The paper essentially provided insight into a process that used (unknowingly by the authors) Lewin’s Model of Change.    

 

So what? As previously mentioned agriculture plays the lead role in the development of 3rd world countries like Afghanistan.  The current situation is that rural areas in Afghanistan are often the most poor because these communities do have access to the inputs needed to produce agricultural crops. In order to awaken the system US-AID workers teamed with local business owners and community members to essentially develop a task force to develop a plan to address the need.  As we have read, stakeholder engagement can be the key to success in the change process.  Secondly, the team sought to implement new strategies by 1) providing cost-shares to local  people to develop rural development centers AKA “farm stores” 2) included tribe elders in the selection of local business people to run and own the stores and 3) address the problem of robbery by building sleeping quarters in the stores for the owners and their families.  After the situation was unfrozen and the conditions needed for change were addressed the system was able to return to normalcy.  The new normal provided the access to inputs farmers needed.

Now what?  The gap in this situation is access. The people in these communities did not have access to “farm stores” to purchase these materials.  Startegies were developed by the community and US-AID workers to address this gap.  Now 12 “farm stores” are successfully operating in rural Afghanistan villages.  This group were able to improve the livelihood of the people in their villages by addressing the gap.  These farm stores facilitated the development of small business opportunities which provided the opportunity of sustainable development in these villages.  This program is now being used as a model in other 3rd world countries. 

 

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