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Helmand farmers: Wheat yield good, but prices down

8 Jul 2023 - 17:15
8 Jul 2023 - 17:15

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Some farmers in southern Helmand province express satisfaction with this year’s wheat yield, but complain the grain prices are such that they are barely breaking even.

These farmers ask the government to find better market for their harvest.

However, agriculture officials say they provided farmers with chemical fertilizers and modified seeds in most parts of the country.

Haji Mohammad Nader, a farmer from Mukhtar area north of Lashkargah, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “This year’s wheat yield was considerable, but its prices are very low, if we sell the grain, it cannot cover the input cost”.

He said if the government provided chemical fertilizers and improved quality seeds to farmers, it would not only further increase the yield, but also reduce input costs.

Nader said: “A 45 kilograms of black DAP fertilizer was sold for 22000 Pakistani rupee (about 6,300 afghanis) in the markets five months ago and that is why the cost of wheat cultivation was high for farmers”.

Gull Ahmad, another farmer from the same area, told Pajhwok: “If farmers are given professional training and provided with chemical fertilizers and modified seeds, their economic situations will improve”.

Haji Sardarwali, a resident of Marja District, said all farmers grew only wheat on their land so it lost value for being in abundance.

He said: “Right now we have grown maize and mung beans, we want the government to help us”.

Abdul Qahaar Ulfat, deputy head of Agricultural Promotion Department, admitted the problems of farmers and promised them government’s support.

Ulfat said the provincial Agriculture Department had distributed chemical fertilizer and improved quality seeds to farmers in some districts of Helmand.

He said: “We assisted 400 farmers each in Garmsir and Nawa districts and the provincial capital Lashkargah city with 45 kilograms of chemical fertilizer and corn and vegetables seeds”.

Poppy cultivation has been banned in Helmand province, once the world’s leading opium producing region, since last two years, with farmers turning to wheat and other legal crops.

aw/ma

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