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    Wheat price up by 40pc in Samangan

    AIBAK (PAN): The price of wheat increased by 40 percent over the last two weeks due to inadequate rains and high demand in northern Samangan province, residents complained on Tuesday.

    A fortnight back, seven kilograms of wheat accounted for 90 afghanis ($1.9) but now the price has jumped 150 afghanis, according to shopkeepers.

    Mohammad Aman, a shopkeeper, said: "A large stock of wheat was recently purchased by traders. Additionally, lack of rains also contributed to the hike."

    He added traders bought wheat in Samangan and shifted the commodity to Balkh, Baghlan, Takhar and Faryab provinces, causing the price spiral.

    Farmers and livestock owners, meanwhile, voiced their concern at the dry spell. Din Mohammad, a farmer in Hazrat Sultan district, said: "My crop over 25 acre of rain-field land has been scorched. And wheat on 15-acre irrigated fields has been watered only once."

    Noor Mohammad, an agriculture department official, confirmed the rise in wheat prices, saying that the staple crop had been grown over 90,000 acres of rain-fed land and 13,000 acres of irrigated land in Samangan.