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    Drought affects 90 percent of Baghlan's wheat crops

    PUL-I-KHUMRI (PAN): The recent drought has affected more than 90 percent of rain-fed wheat crops, killed over a hundred farm animals, and threatened 15 thousand families in northern Baghlan province, officials said on Wednesday.

    Because of the lack of rain and snow last winter, farms have faced a great deal of damage in the province, Ghulam Nabi Raofi, the agriculture department chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    According to him, the province has 52 thousand hectares wheat, nearly 47 thousand hectares of which have been damaged in the recent drought. He said wheat is the main rain-fed product in the province.

    Haji Mohammad, a farmer in the Cholat area of the Baraka district, said this year’s drought destroyed many crops that rely on rain. He continued: "If the government does not support us with water, probably our irrigated crops will be affected too," he said.

    Rahmatullah, another farmer in the area, also complained of drought, saying that half of his products had been affected.

    Meanwhile the agriculture department chief said more than a hundred livestock, including cows, sheep and goats had died from lack of water. Mohammad Naser Kuhzad, the provincial natural disaster chief, said that 15 thousand families are threatened by drought in the Dohshi, Dahnai Ghori, and central Baghlan, Baraka, and Nahrin districts.

    If the people's problems are not resolved, they will have to move, the agriculture department chief said.

    Hikmatullah, a resident of the central Baghlan district said: "I had 60 sheep; 10 of them have died due to lack of water." He also said that the drought reduced the value of his surviving livestock.

    He said he had earned 400 thousand afghanis from selling 200 livestock this year. Last year, by contrast, he earned 1 million afghanis from livestock sales last year.

    Khuzad, the natural disaster chief of the province, said provincial departments do not have enough to solve people's problems but are looking for donors.

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