KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Agriculture says the country’s rice yield has increased by 15 percent in 2020, compared to last year’s production.
The figures are based on joint surveys by the Central Statistics Bureau and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MoAIL).
In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said the survey was conducted using various methods involving remote sensing in 126 districts of 19 provinces.
Interviews were conducted with farmers and samples collected from the crop. The survey took five months to complete, starting from cultivation to harvest.
Akbar Rustami, spokesman of MoAIL put the rice harvest at 383,000 metric tonnes, showing an increase of 57,000 tonnes this year. The overall yield reached 440,000 metric tonnes.
Based on the survey, the area under rice cultivation last year was 128,000 hectares. With addition of 19,500 hectares of land, this year the area under cultivation was 147,500 hectares.
Rustami reckoned the rice harvest had gone up by 15 percent this year, considering the fact that rice is one of Afghanistan staples.
Information from the National Statistics Bureau shows Afghanistan needs 655,000 tonnes of rice for the current year. Given the production level, the country still needs 215,000 tonnes of rice.
Rustami said the joint survey indicated Kunduz ranked first in rice cultivation over 46,800 hectares of land, with a total production of 140,000 tonnes.
Takhar was second sowing 75,000 tonnes of rice on 23,000 hectares of land, Baghlan emerged third with a total cultivation of 63,000 tonnes on 19,700 hectares of land.
Nangarhar finished fourth by producing 47,000 tonnes of rice sown on 14,600 hectares of land.
Herat produced 28,000 tonnes of rice, Kunar 20,000 tonnes, Balkh 18,000 tonnes and Laghman 15,000 tonne.
Khost, Uruzgan, Paktia, Badakhshan, Daikundi, Kabul, Badghis, Helmand, Bamyan, Sar-i-Pul and Ghor ranked low in terms of production.