Document Type : Original Article


1 .Sc. Graduate of Agricultural Economics, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Environmental sustainability is one of the most important considerations in planning and managing agriculture in any country nowadays. Agriculture plays an important role in Afghanistan's economy and employment. Herat province is rich in agricultural production in Afghanistan. To achieve environmental sustainability along with profitability, the present research aimed to develop an optimal cropping pattern for Afghanistan with environmental considerations. The crops studied include wheat, barley, sesame, cumin, and saffron, which accounted for more than 70 percent of the cropping area in Herat province. The goal and linear programming model were used to determine the optimal cropping pattern. The goals of reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides along with maximizing gross margins were used in the goal model with the aim of achieving environmental sustainability. The results of the linear model, aimed at maximizing gross margins, showed that in the optimal pattern of the region, the cultivated area of sesame, barley, and saffron should be increased and the cultivated area of wheat and cumin should be decreased versus the status quo. In addition, the results of goal models in different scenarios showed significant changes in comparison to the current cropping pattern.

Graphical Abstract

Optimal Cropping Pattern in Afghanistan Considering Environmental Sustainability


  • Optimal cropping patterns obtained from the single-purpose and multi-purpose planning models lead to more gross margin in comparison to the current pattern.
  • Optimal cropping patterns obtained from the single-purpose and multi-purpose planning models lead to less consumption of pesticides and which means less pollution and more environmentally sustainable fertilizers in comparison to the current pattern
  • Optimal patterns show less water consumption and less use of machinery in comparison to the current situation.


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