The Commercial Horticulture and Agricultural Marketing Program (CHAMP), implemented by Roots of Peace (ROP), is a four-year, $30.4 million activity to assist Afghan farmers to shift to higher value perennial horticulture crops by providing orchard development, vineyard trellising, and marketing to link producers to merchants for both import substitution and exports. Key to all components of CHAMP is the fact that all beneficiaries provide cost-sharing payments, typically 25% of costs, to build long term ownership and buy-in of the farmers, women and traders. At the time of the evaluation, USAID began a budget and program modification of the CHAMP program and has since increased its budget and timing to extend to the end of 2014.
Despite functioning in areas of the country that are increasingly difficult to monitor and manage, CHAMP, while lacking some key strategic focus and facing some implementation issues, is proceeding in the right direction to fulfill its goals. Overwhelmingly positive response from participants and their willingness to provide cash upfront for activity participation, as well as the long list of farmers and traders wanting to join the program regardless of out-of-pocket requirements, provide a strong case for success and the fact that the program is providing support in key areas that are wanted and needed by the agricultural community.
CHAMP operates in 16 provinces in the Eastern, Southeastern, Southern and Central regions of Afghanistan in some of the most volatile and difficult to monitor districts in the country. The CHAMP program is implemented by Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) in Paktya, Paktika and Khost (P2K). Since it began in February 2010, CHAMP has supported over 12,733 households (HH) with over 3,073 hectares (Ha) of new orchards and vineyards established and over 102 Ha of new trellising installed.