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    Improved seeds distributed to Zabul farmers

    QALAT (PAN): Improved wheat seeds and chemical fertilisers were distributed to farmers in the southern province of Zabul, officials said on Tuesday.

    Fifty-three tonnes of improved wheat seed varieties and as much chemical fertiliser were distributed to 1070 farmers of Seori, Shahr-i-Safa, Mizani and Shah Joy districts and Qalat.

    Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Director Bismillah Harifal told Pajhwok Afghan News each of the deserving growers, identified by a delegation, was given 50 kilograms of wheat seeds and as much fertilisers.

    The assistance was provided by the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) to wean farmers away from cultivating poppies to other crops, the director added.

    Such assistance was useful for preventing poppy cultivation in the province, said a farmer of Shah-i-Safa district, Noorullah.

    In the past, they would grow the illicit poppy crop due to its draught resistance, but climate conditions were more suitable to improved wheat seed varieties, he said, asking the government to pay attention to the basic needs of growers.

    He suggested the construction of dams, cold storages and markets for products of farmers as an alternative to poppy cultivation.