In this paper the authors draw on cases from the province of Badakhshan, in Northern Afghanistan, to present three local solutions that all have some potential to break, from the bottom-up, the self-reinforcing loop that characterizes the trap of failed states. While all deal with local-level solutions to food production and diversification, they work at very different levels of human activity: the first describes an agricultural research station’s attempt at improving agricultural production, through an innovative approach to governance. The second example is a bold and innovative experiment to teach women the skills to grow and process vegetables in the high Pamir Mountains. It succeeded in introducing greens and beans to seminomadic communities who had never eaten vegetables before. The third works at the level of identity and imagination: using food culture to rekindle people’s sense of pride in who they are, it helps to offer a different basis from which to re-imagine a future that is their own, free of war.
Hopeful Harvest: Food and Agriculture as a Foundation for Peace in Northern Afghanistan | Solutions