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Helmand farmers expand wheat growing this year

Helmand farmers expand wheat growing this year

Jun 17, 2019 - 19:41

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Agricultureinfo-icon officials say 95,000 hectares of land has been cultivated with wheat crop in southern Helmand province this year, showing a 25 percent increase in wheat farms compared last year.

Helmand agriculture director Zalmai Alko told Pajhwok Afghan News that farmers in the province focused more on cultivating wheat crop this year.

He said over 95,000 hectares of land in the province was planted with wheat in Helmand this year which showed a 25 percent increase in wheat cultivation over last year.

“I am trying to find a good market for wheat production of Helmand farmers and other provinces,” he said.

Helmand would be once again self-reliant on crops and it would also export its agricultural products to other provinces this year, he said.

Tor Jan, a farmer from Nawa district, told Pajhwok that his wheat crop yielded better result this season compared to the past.

“Our crops are very good, but we don’t have good market for selling wheat,” he said.

He said government officials always promised to find market for their products but they did nothing in practice.

Mohammad Naim, a farmer from Garamsir district, said he preferred to grow more wheat this year than other plants.

“Many farmers including myself have grown wheat instead of poppy this year, but the government should find market for our produce otherwise farmers would again start cultivating poppy,” he said.

A number of other farmers had similar views.

On the other hand, Helmand provincial council head Attaullah Afghan said that the government organs concerned should support farmers in growing wheat and other legal plants.

“If Helmand farmers are supported, they would be able to meet the requirements of their own province and some other parts of the country,” he said.

Helmand is one of the unstable provinces of Afghanistaninfo-icon and thousands of acres of land here is still grown with poppy, a business which benefits militants and smugglers the most.



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