The Rustaq study, Afghanistan

The Rustaq study focuses on the different levels of decision-making influencing the spread of sustainable land management as well as the natural and human environment determining these decisions in the context of hillside agriculture.


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Agriculture
  • Research unit International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Funding organisation Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (Bundesverwaltung)
  • Duration 01.05.2015 - 31.12.2017
  • Project management Dr. Dominic Blättler
  • Head of project Dr. Dominic Blättler
  • Project staff Dr. Dominic Blättler
  • Partner Echanges Equipement
    Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern
    Swiss Cooperation Office SDC Kabul
  • Keywords Sustainable livelihoods and agriculture, natural resource management (land), Afghanistan


Aim of the project: Improving the understanding of interactions within the social-ecological systems of small watersheds in Rustaq district; and identify options for improved land management as the basis for improved livelihoods of local communities.

Course of action

The Rustaq study works towards better understanding sustainable land management strategies of local farmers and the decision making processes and criteria in terms of their livelihoods. It also aims to identify institutions of importance in this regard at the regional, community and household level. This, in order to answer a number of recurrent questions regarding rural livelihoods, agricultural systems and land degradation (close collaboration with development project).