ABSTRACT: The restricted maximum likelihood method was used to assess performance following the introduction of improved varieties of chickpea and mungbean (an important source of plant protein in Afghanistan) as compared to local varieties using 242 farmer participatory demonstrations laid out in eight districts in Baghlan, Balkh and Uruzgan provinces in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012. The impact of the varieties introduced on the enhancement of security of food and nutrition of farmers adopting such technologies was also assessed. Taking an average over the study period, chickpea improved varieties (Madad and Sehat) recorded 56 and 72 % more yield over the local ones, respectively, while in case of mungbean varieties, Mai 2008 and Maash 2008 recorded 22 and 30 % more yield over local ones respectively. Though there is a significant yield difference between the improved and the local varieties of both crops, the difference between the improved varieties of chickpea was not significant while it was significant in the case of mungbean. The study revealed a non-zero variance component for variety type [improved vs. local] × year within district interaction for the yield of chickpea while none of the interactions in mungbean had a positive variance component. Risk analysis showed that at a chosen probability level of 90 %, the improved varieties yielded more than local varieties in both crops (> 1.0 t ha−1). Thus, the study highlighted the scope for enhancing the security of both food and nutrition in Afghanistan through improved productivity of pulse crops.