By: Shukria Kohistani
The result of a joint survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL), National Statistics Organization, in cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP), shows that wheat yields will increase by over 42 percent this year.
The spokesperson to MAIL Akbar Rostami says that with an increase of some 42 percent of wheat yields, wheat imports worth $400 million have been prevented, affecting the trade balance of the country.
He told media that factor behind the increase of wheat yields are increase in the rainfalls, timely distribution of fertilizers and modified seeds, irrigation of thousands of hectares of land, increase of cultivation areas, promotion, distribution of laser level machines, provision of free tractors to farmers, and training of farmers by MAIL.
Rostami added that last year, under the guidance of Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Nasir Ahmad Durrani, the ministry along with the construction of 235 irrigation networks and expansion of thousands hectares of irrigated land, distributed 20,000 tons of urea fertilizer and 10,000 tons of improved seeds to farmers.
Rostami quoting MAIL and Statistics Organization survey said, “During the current year, the agricultural rain-fed and water-fed lands under wheat cultivation have increased and the total wheat production of the country is estimated to be over 5.1 million tons, showing 1.52 million tons increase compared to last year.” It is also worth mentioning that Afghanistan’s demand for wheat is about six million metric tons this year, and wheat deficit will be around 900,000 metric tons this year, according to statistics.
Wheat losses are estimated to exceed 0.7 million tons this year, which consists 15 percent of the total yield.
Last year, due to droughts, wheat production level reached to 3.6 million in compare with which, it increased by 1.5 million ton this year.
Akbar Rostami further stated that increasing of wheat production in the country will also have a major impact on poverty reduction. According to him, every citizen of Afghanistan consumes about 62 kg of flour or wheat annually.
Rotami also shared information about Afghanistan’s agricultural crops fair held in Mumbai. He added based on recent information, Afghan traders attended the fair have received contracts worth almost $110 million.
Mumbai agricultural fair held on June 20 and 21 this year in India.
By: Shukria Kohistani