PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): Farmers and orchards owners in central Logar province say the ongoing drought has reduced their crop yields and they could not pay ushr to the government this year.
Ahmad Zubair, a farmer in Hesarak village in Pul-i-Alam, told Pajhwok Afghan News his crop yield reduced by a half due to the ongoing drought and he could not pay ushr to the provincial agriculture and livestock department.
He said there had not been enough rain this year, which dried up many canals, deep wells and the Logar River.
He urged the government not to take ushr from gardeners and farmers in the province this year.
He added there was a severe drought due to lack of rains. “Believe me, this year’s fruit and especially wheat yields have reduced significantly.”
Haji Usman, a farmer in Mohammad Agha district of Logar province, said due to severe drought, farmers and gardeners in the district faced many problems and could not even afford the expense on their farms and orchards.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAIL) should not take ushr from farmers and gardeners in view of the drought this year and instead provide them with fertilizers and improved seeds.
“Drought has hit the whole country this year and Logar has also been hit hard,” he said. “People lack adequate water for their crops and orchards. If the situation continues like this, there is a fear that the crops and orchards will dry up. In such a situation, how can farmers and gardeners pay ushr to the government?”
Meanwhile, Logar Agriculture and Livestock Director Syed Ahmad Hashimi told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock had started collecting ushers from farmers and gardeners across the country and was continuing to do so in Logar.
He added that the government received one-tenth of the harvest from farmers and gardeners who irrigated their fields and orchards with water from canals and one-twentieth from those who irrigated their fields and orchards with water from deep wells.
He said the ministry was trying its best to co-operate with drought-stricken farmers and gardeners.
Logar is an agricultural province south of the capital Kabul, where most of the residents depend on agriculture and livestock.
But this year’s drought, like in other parts of the country, has hit them hard, halving their crop yields.