Japan pledges $11m for improved wheat seeds
KABUL CITY (PAN): With the Ministry of Agriculture estimating a 42 percent rise in this year’s food crop production, Japan on Sunday pledged providing $ 11 million (562.8 million afghanis) in aid to the ministry for improving quality wheat seeds.
A contract to the effect was signed between Deputy Agriculture and Livestock Minister Abdul Ghani Ghoryani and Japanese Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi in Kabul.
Ghoryani told a news conference, also attended by representatives from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), that 80,000 farmers would be given improved quality wheat seeds.
The distribution process of the agriculture input would be jointly conducted by the ministry and FAO, Ghoryani said.
The Japanese envoy said that 36 percent of Afghans were facing food insecurity, with natural disasters contributing to their misery.
"Afghanistan’s agriculture sector remains prioritised in our programmes and we are committed to assisting Afghans and this project is an example of our cooperation,'' Takahashi added.
Farmers in Ghor, Nangarhar, Bamyan and Sar-i-Pul will benefit from the programme in autumn, the agriculture ministry says. Each farmer will receive 50 kilograms of improved wheat seed and the same amount of chemical fertiliser and vegetable seeds.
Ghoryani said wheat production this year was estimated at 6.33 million tonnes, indicating a 42 percent increase, compared to last year’s yield. He said wheat import would decline by 75 percent this year.
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