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Little is known about the economics of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Kabul, Afghanistan. This study therefore aimed to investigate the profitability of 15 mixed cropping farms with a total of 42 farm plots that were selected from a survey of 100 households (HHs). The sample represented the three dominant farm types: cereal producers (15 plots), vegetable farmers (15 plots) and grape producers (12 plots). A cost-revenue analysis of all inputs and outputs (costs of tillage, seed where applicable, weeding, harvesting, casual labour, machinery use, pruning, pesticides and of revenue from produce sold) over two years showed major differences in net HH income. Differences were largely due to production type and crops grown and reflected differences in market prices for produce. Cereal production yielded a total bi-annual revenue of 9630 US$ ha−1, and a gross margin and a net profit of 8770 US$ ha−1. Vegetable farming gave an average bi-annual revenue of 27 900 US$ ha−1, a gross margin of 26 330 US$ ha−1 and a net profit of 25 530 US$ ha−1. Surprisingly, vineyards generated the lowest returns with a revenue of 5400 US$ ha−1, and a gross margin and a net profit of 4480 US$ ha−1. The results suggest that among the production systems studied vegetable cultivation was most profitable given its direct linkage to city market demands, rather stable prices and much shorter growing season than for cereals and grapes. In addition, the inflow of wheat and grapes from rural areas into the city negatively affects local producer revenues. If vineyards are to be maintained in the city surroundings, incentives such as subsidized credit may need to be made available to producers.

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Experimental Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0014-4797
  • EISSN: 1469-4441
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