September, 11, 2014…Reprinted from ASA Leader Letter…An important part of the Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal in Afghanistan Initiative (SARAI) project is introducing appropriate technologies to farmers. SARAI is a USDA-funded program that is building a soy-value chain from production to end processing and is managed by the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (ASA/WISHH) program.
To complement the introduction of mechanized planters and threshers, ASA/WISHH developed and introduced hand tools designed for local conditions. These hand tools include furrow markers for oxen, allowing farmers to plant consistently spaced 40 cm wide rows; wheel hoes that remove broad leaf weeds and row cultivators to ridge soybeans after three weeks of planting.
All of these hand tools were designed by ASA/WISHH and manufactured in machine shops in Mazar. In addition to the agronomic benefits the hand tools provide, local jobs were created and repairs will be convenient, since the same machine shops that made the hand tools can also make the repairs.