Special programme for food security (SPFS)

The SPFS began operations in 1994 following the Director-General's review of FAO priorities, programmes and strategies. This review concluded that there was an urgent need to focus on the following:

  • improving food security
  • increasing food production
  • improving stability of supplies
  • generating rural employment

The main objective of the SPFS is to help Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) improve national and household food security in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. It advocates a participatory approach through demonstrating better ways of increasing production and identifying and resolving the range of constraints which are technical and institutional.

It draws on Agenda 21, which was unanimously adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro. This states that the major thrust of food security "is to bring about a significant increase in agricultural production in a sustainable way and to achieve a substantial improvement in people's entitlement to adequate food and culturally appropriate food supplies."

The SPFS was introduced to Afghanistan in 2003, with projects in horticulture, seed multiplication, livestock production and water management.


[Database of contacts working on food security, nutrition and livehood]



New Updates

Special Program for Food Security (SPFS) in Afghanistan –Preparatory   Phase for Community-based

                               Food Production Capacity Building


EOD:  1 August 2003

NTE: 31 December 2008

Budget: FAO regular programme, US$ 904,076


SPFS Preparatory Phase designed to pave the way for the launching of a National Programme for Food Security with the principal objectives of ensuring an adequate supply of food for the population, enabling all sections of the society to have access to adequate and safe food, reducing seasonal and year-to-year variability in food supply, and accelerating the growth of the agricultural sector on a sustainable basis. The immediate objectives of the Preparatory Phase consist of measuring the impact of new technologies as demonstrated on farmers’ fields and evaluating the prospects of their dissemination on a wider scale from four interrelated perspectives: technical feasibility, economic and financial viability, acceptability of the new technologies by farmers and the long-term sustainability of the improved technological packages.  


(i) Improve water management.

(ii)  Increase crop intensity under irrigation and rain fed conditions in the pilot areas through the introduction and dissemination of improved low cost technological

(iii)  Promote profitable crop and livestock diversification in the pilot areas in accordance with natural resources availability, climatic conditions and market potential

(iv) Develop an effective modality of grassroots organizations for self-help in the pilot areas, and

(v) Confirm technical feasibility and economic and financial viability of intervention in the pilot areas.


 Achievements to date:

  • Four provincial area offices established in (Sorkhrod, Taluqan, Tagab-e-Kishm and Behsood (2nd part) districts. Each office has a government counterpart coordinator& extension workers.
  • 33 village base organizations (farmer’s agricultural cooperatives) developed, which consist of 7,351 members with share capital & income from sale proceeds  amounting of  3,209,702 Afs (US$ 64,194) which is used for inputs in SPFS sites in Taluqan, Behsood 2nd part & Sorkhrod districts.  Additional 5 agricultural cooperatives and 6 village Shuras were organized under project in Taluqan, Tagab-e- Kishm & Sorkhrod districts in 2005.
  • 600 kitchen garden demonstration plots of vegetables established (Onion, & Turnip) for sowing in autumn 2004 in Sorkhrod district. Demonstrations of 600 kitchen garden plots of vegetables established (Okra) for sowing in spring 2005 in Sorkhrod district.
  • Demonstrated organic fertilizer promotion in Taluqan district on 66 pits. 
  • 31 honey bee demonstration farms established in Taluqan & Tagab –e- Kishm districts.
  • 880 demonstrations of improved irrigated & rain fed wheat seed production established in Taluqan district. In addition, established 200 demonstrations plots (each 0.4 & 0.2 Ha land) in Behsood (2nd part) district & 120 plots of same size in Sorkh rod district.
  • 13 training courses on Beekeeping, Grafting of wild Grapes & development of village based organization (Agricultural Cooperatives) conducted to provincial MAIL & beneficiaries in Taluqan, Tagab-e-Kishn and Sorkhrod districts.
  • Carried out 5 Farm mechanization demonstrations of Wheat threshers & four Tractors for use in Sorkhrod district.
  • 4 Poultry farms established in Sorkhrod district.
  • In addition, 4 poultry farming courses, many field days on various demonstration sites in various locations organized. Wheat harvesting, threshing and processing equipment demonstrated.
  • Established 30 demonstration plots of Lentil production & 200 demonstration of Wheat seed treatment against Bunt & smut in Behsood 2nd part district producers.
  • Distributed sufficient Urea & Herbicides to wheat seed producers in Taluqan.
  • Established & equipped artificial insemination centres in Taluqan district.
  • Demonstrated grafting of wild grapes & distributed 3030 Kg Clover Var.Local Hazaragi with sufficient fertilizer in Tagab-e- Kishm district.
  • Demonstrated 26 none & fruit trees nurseries in Taluqan, Tagab-e-Kishm & Behsood districts.
  • Facilitated Two weeks Tour mission for 5 project counterparts from MAIL& project National Field Manager  to Pakistan on Conservation Agriculture
  • Formulation of national program for food security & SSC is started the first workshop token on 14-15 Oct-& second workshop on 23-24 Dec-06.


Lessons learned


  • For demonstrated Garlic production 2.1 Mt of Garlic boll, 3.6 Mt DAP & 7.2 Mt Urea distributed to 6 Agricultural cooperatives in Sorkhrod district.
  • On the request of the Minister of MAIL, a detailed concept papered for up scaling of the National Special Programme for Food Security (NPFS) was prepared for all the 371 districts of the country) and submitted to the Minister for fund raising, based on survey done in 620 villages in 62 district in 32 Provinces the first draft of the National Program for Food Security (NPFS) submitted by National team, second draft of the (NPFS) submitted by Dr. Kevin Gallagher project back stopping Mission, & the final document will be ready by 31st July 2007for raising

 [Project brief PDF]



Next Steps

Back-To-Office Report 26 April-7 May 2008