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Afghan Farmers Fear Drought in Coming Year

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Afghanistan could face drought in the upcoming year that would affect wheat and other grain crops in the country warned the Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock. 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock is considering providing 1 billion Afs and 800 million Afs (over $23 million) in loans to seven thousand vulnerable farmers across the country in the upcoming (Solar Hijri) year, said a spokesman for the ministry. 

Planting season has begun in some parts of the country, and farmers hope for rainfall in the upcoming days or months. 

Farmers say that signs of a drought year are real and they are expecting a tough year ahead. 

“There are lots of problems this year. The wheat we planted has not been irrigated yet, insecurity and drought have doubled our problems,” said Abdul Rab, a farmer in the Panjwayei district of Helmand.

Abdullah Yousufzai, chief executive of the chamber, said that there is still hope for rainfall in the country. “The resulting losses of the drought will be felt hard when the harvest time comes; however, there are hopes that possible rainfall will solve the problem,” he said.

Reports show that there was little rainfall in most of the provinces during the past year. Economic experts are concerned about the drought in the upcoming year and warn that the economic growth of the country will be severely affected by drought, as the agriculture sector is a vital factor in the country’s gross domestic product. 

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