Building dairy value chains in Badakhshan, Afghanistan

Building dairy value chains in Badakhshan, Afghanistan

Considerable recent research has tried to link agricultural production and the distribution of nutrient-rich foods to consumption, and hence improved health, of nutritionally vulnerable population groups. However, we are still unsure how agri-food value chains can assure positive linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Badakhshan is a remote region of Afghanistan, where high rates of malnutrition prevail among vulnerable population groups. The research reported here is a value chain analysis of a dairy project in Badakhshan that was designed to enhance women’s economic development through investments in production, processing, and marketing, but also had considerable potential for nutritional impact.

Using primary data from surveys of project participants and non-participants, focus groups, and key informants, I conclude that building effective value chains can leverage dairy production for better human nutrition, but projects need contextualisation, and further research and value chain development are needed to maximise the potential.

This article is taken from IDS Bulletin 49:1. 

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