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    Seed, fertilizer distribution drive begins in Nangarhar

    JALALABAD (PAN): The campaign of distributing thousands of tonnes of improved quality seeds and chemical fertilisers to 12,000 farmers got underway in 10 draught-hit districts of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Tuesday.

    The 600 tonnes of improved wheat seeds, as much Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and 1,200 tonnes of urea would reach 12,000 farmers in Kot, Batikot, Khogyani, Rodat, Khewa, Lalpur, Goshta, Achin and Sorkhrod districts, Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock  Director, Mohammad Hussain Safi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    The campaign was launched with financial support from the World Food Organisation (FAO) and would take a week to complete, he said.

    Each farmer, who did not grow poppy crops in his field or his crops affected by draught, is being given 50 kilograms of DAP, as much as improved wheat seeds and 100 kg of urea on the subsidised rate of 2,000 afghanis.

    There has been a 20 percent increase in wheat production in Nangahar, with the yield reaching 300,000 tonnes last year. However, a 70 percent decrease in the wheat production in northern provinces due to draught and natural disasters led the authorities to cut the assistance for some districts in Nangahar, Safi said.

    This year, the Agriculture Ministry had allocated 10,000 tonnes of seeds and chemical fertilisers for northern provinces, he added.

    The aid would be distributed to 1,400 farmers through agriculture extension mangers and members of district development councils, who had already distributed cards to illegible farmers in the Khogyani district, administrative head of the town, Mohammad Hassan, said.

    However, Governor Gul Agha Sherzai said the cut in assistance was injustice with farmers of Nangarhar, where 12 districts were deprived of the agricultural inputs.