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Mansehra Food Security



Project Title: Mansehra Food Security Project (MFSP)   

Duration of Project: Two year (2010 & 2011)

Donor: EU through Concern



Increase in food prices in 2007-2009 left majority of poor people in rural areas of Pakistan prone to hunger and malnutrition. In response to the crisis of high prices after extensive damages of the massive earthquake in 2005, Haashar implemented a two-years EC funded “Mansehra Food Security Project” in 2010 and 2011with an overall goal of reducing the negative effect of high prices on poor and vulnerable agricultural HHs.

Funds provided by EC Food Facility through Concern Worldwide for activities of the Mansehra Food Security Project positively contributed to the development of agriculture in Siranvalley of Mansehra district, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

The project was properly planned involving relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of the project. As about 95 % or more of the population in the targeted UCs depends on agriculture so the interventions for crops, livestock, poultry, and agriculture related infrastructures were relevant to the needs of the target population for food production and income generation.

Haashar provided support in the form of seed and fertilizers to 14,259 HH for wheat, maize and potato to increase food crops production, and to 7396 HH for French bean, pea and tomato for commercial vegetable production to increase farm income. The end-line study reported 100 % increase in yield of wheat and maize and about 4 to 5 times increase in yield of potato. Small quantities of the seeds of other vegetables were given to 3039 HH for kitchen gardening on 50 to 125 m2 to improve nutrition. It is encouraging that 75% of the sampled beneficiaries are now practicing kitchen gardening as compared to 45% in the past. The vegetables were mostly used for home consumption; the kitchen gardening by BNF is providing vegetables for home consumption for about 5 months.

A total of 14146 poultry birds were distributed to 2616 HH mostly for the benefits of women. The poultry are producing 60 to 80 eggs per month, 50% of the eggs are sold giving roughly 500 PKR to the BNF HHs. Other interventions for seed production plots and seed banks for availability of seed locally, trials for crop production diversity, tunnel gardening, compost making, irrigation water availability, disaster risk reduction and linkages with government departments and services were included in the project design and implemented.

The targeted BNF had greater food availability from enhanced crops, vegetables, poultry and livestock production as a result of better access to quality agricultural inputs and improved crop and livestock management practices. The project BNF have diversified the cropping pattern as a result of introduction of new crops and increased agriculture productivity through improved land, soil and water management. The target village groups have established linkages with relevant government agencies, enhanced access to extension services, farm services centers and markets.

Distribution of good quality seeds and fertilizers for wheat and maize crops were relevant and appropriate except some minor problems reported by BNF for maize variety Azam and a problem of poor germination of French bean in year two. Concern should test seed lots supplied after procurement in order to avoid germination problems in farmers’ fields in future. Interventions for potato cultivation were pertinent to increased HH income. Seed distribution for kitchen gardens provided additional nutritional benefits to the households. The provision of poultry not only improved HH nutrition but gave extra income to women. The support provided by Haashar has been well received, and was much appreciated by BNF

The project achieved the objectives of food security and poverty alleviation.Haashar spent 24 million rupees on seed and fertilizers purchases for maize and wheat given to 12361 HH to plant wheat and maize on 1323 ha which produce extra yield worth 50 million rupees. Haashar support for about 4.28 kanals of maize and wheat produced 527 kg grains which was enough for a family of 7.6 for 9 months. Thus the project inputs for maize and wheat increased food security of the BNF on the average by about 4.5 months.


Details of the crops and vegetables interventions in Siran by asharAssociation under MFSP

Intervention   HH #

Per Household

Total area sown

Package size Area in Kanals



Maize seed and fertilizers 8212 Seed 6 – 12.5kg  DAP &Usea 25 – 50 kg

2 to 4



Wheat seed and fertilizers 4149 Seed 12.5 — 25kg DAP & Urea 25 – 50 kg

2 to 4



Potato seed and Fertilizers 1898  Seed 100  — 400kg DAP & Urea P  2.2 – 50 kg

1 to 4



French Bean seed and Fertilizers 2926 Seed 1 – 4kg NPK 6.2 – 25 kg

1 to 4



Pea seed and fertilizers 2176 Seed 10 – 40kg NPK 6.2 – 25 kg

1 to 4



Tomato seed and fertilizers 2294 Seed  50 – 200kg NPK 25 – 100 kg

1 to 4



Vegetable seed for kitchen garden 3039 Seed of okra, spinach, pumpkin, radish and turnip  for 0.1 kanal





Details of livestock and poultry interventions under MFSP

Intervention Number of HH Package/ HH Total birds distributed
Poultry distribution 1366 in 20101250 in 20112616  total 6 birds in 20105 birds in 2011




De-worming/ vaccination of livestock 4 days in 2010  4 days in 20118 days in total   59355 animals45885 animals105240 animals

10,935 HH[1]


List of other interventions implemented by Haashar under the MFSP

Conducted 34 community-based certified seed production demonstration plots
Established 8 community-based seed banks as facilities for local availability of good quality seed of improved varieties of different crops
Conducted 27 crop management trainings in which 948 farmers were trained on improved crops management practices
Trained 856 farmers on composting skills and techniques, and constructed 30 on site demonstration compost pits.
Arranged 2 artificial insemination training. Trained 16 community-based artificial inseminators and they are operating in the target areas for breed improvement
Constructed  20 plastic tunnels for off-season vegetables gardening at the farm level and used them as demonstration tunnels for vegetable growing
Established 28 orchards on privately owned farm land
Conducted 59 trials on alternate crops/crop rotations
Established 20 forest plants nurseries which are successfully operating
Conducted campaigns for forestation/re-forestation of 257 hectares of eroded soil/land and degraded area. In this campaign 305,350 plants were planted
Treated 181 hectares with soil and water conservation measures, stone check dams
Constructed 8 water conservation and management infrastructure
About 60 hectares of arable land brought under irrigation by rehabilitating water courses
Constructed four water ponds for livestock
Arranged 8 trainings to train 200 people in soil and water conservation infrastructure operation and maintenance
A total of 240 village groups (120 male VO and 120 female VO) were strengthened and linked with government FSC
Twenty agriculture field days were held for dissemination of best practices, off-season vegetable production in plastic tunnels and lessons learnt through field trials and research work
Seven exchange visits for farmers were facilitated
Four local agricultural fairs were held
Constructed 27 market access roads/trails



The overall impact of the project was development of the traditional agriculture of the target areas into modern agriculture using best varieties of crops, improved livestock breeds, good cross-bred poultry and best production practices base on scientific experimentation. Majority of the BNF obtained higher yields of maize, wheat, potato, beans, peas and tomato which improve the HH food security and the HH got financial benefits by selling some of the surplus potato, beans, and peas. The food security situation of the participating households has improved as BNF have food security for 7 to 9 months form wheat and maize intervention as compared to food security for 4 to 5 months of NBNF or of BNF before the project[2]; this improvement is an indicator of the achievement of the goal of the project and according the expectation of the project impact.

The tunnels for off-season vegetables had great impact on income of the tunnel BNF as they reported annual income in the range of 50,000 to 60,000 PKR in addition to their own HH use of the vegetables.

The poultry were given to women headed HH and some very poor landless HH. The BNF for seed demonstration plots, tunnels, and orchards were average and comparatively large farmers. Beneficiary targeting criteria were developed in consultation with community/village organizations.

The project has helped to improve the living standards of the members of BNF households. The HH are now more food secure. The HH food intake has become more diverse as a result of increase in vegetable production and purchase of more diverse type of food items from markets/ village shops made possible by greater income as a result of crops and livestock interventions of MFSP. The poultry BNF HHs are now using more eggs as compared to the use before poultry distribution. The female HH members are better-off having efficient poultry breeds than before the project.

MFSP contributed to the first and most important millennium development goal of poverty and hunger eradication. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger of the rural people of the targeted valley was the direct focus of the project. The project also contributed, though indirectly, to the other millennium development goals like promotion of gender equality and women empowerment, reduction of child mortality, improving maternal health, and insuring environmental sustainability. The social mobilization and creation of WVO contributed to women empowerment. Poultry distribution targeting mostly women was a right attempt to promote gender equality and so was distribution of vegetables seeds for kitchen gardening. Diversification of crop grown, improving livestock productivity through better health care, improving poultry productivity through distribution of improved breeds resulted in diversification of food intake involving vegetables, beans, eggs, milk and milk products indirectly improved maternal and children health and thus helped in reducing child mortality. Some of the project interventions will, in the long run, conserve natural resources and reduce environmental degradation. Forestation, land stabilization, erosion reduction measures will lead to environmental sustainability, which is also one of the millennium development goals. Crop physiologists have calculated that an average crop growing in a field daily cleans air up to 550 m above the crop as it fixes carbon form CO2 of the air that diffuses in the minute pore called stomata. The crop plants like trees, using the common process of photosynthesis, release oxygen in exchange for CO2 (though the O2 is coming from splitting of water molecule and not CO2); the replenishment of oxygen is more important for human beings and their livestock, because we cannot survive beyond a couple of minutes without oxygen. These environmental benefits are often ignored as most people, even the educated and learned person, do not know the environmental benefits of increasing crop production.

The linkages of VO and the their members to FSC, the agriculture extension department, agriculture research stations, livestock department, and forestry department; acquaintance with agriculture inputs supplier and companies through agriculture fairs, training, and field visits are likely to increase efficiency and production of agriculture sector.

Distribution of fertilizers and good quality seed of improved varieties of main grain crops, commercial vegetables and kitchen garden vegetables increased the yield and production of the crops and vegetables: the increased production of grains and vegetables along with increased productivity of livestock and poultry products due to project interventions not only improved food situation of BNF from own farm land in line with global food security objectives but the new crop introductions by MFSP along with greater supply of dairy products and more eggs production through project efforts improved nutrition and food intake of BNFs.

The poor vulnerable groups having small holding and living in remote high elevation inaccessible areas were empowered through social mobilization and were supported by giving them good quality inputs to enhance crops, vegetables, livestock and poultry products.