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Wheat production doubled in Kunduz
Kunduz City, June 20, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Wheat production in the northern Kunduz province has doubled as large number of farmers have stopped growing poppies under the alternative livelihood programme this year.
The yield reached 111,000 tons this year as compared to the 66,000 tons of the last year, said Abdul Aziz Nekzad, director of the agriculture and irrigation department.
Nekzad said area cultivated with wheat crop was 42,000 hectares last year while this year, the crop was cultivated on 43,000 hectares.
Mentioning the reason behind the ample harvest, the official said plenty irrigation water, counter-narcotics campaign and provision of improved seeds helped boost the wheat production in the province.
He said 250 tons of different types of seeds, including Aamo, Lalm-i-yak, Lalm-i-dow and Mazar were distributed to farmers this year.
Ghulam Muhyuddin, a farmer and dweller of Hazrat Sultan village of the province, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had received 480 to 700 kilograms of wheat per acre of land last year. However, he was provided with 1,120 kilograms seeds per acre this year.
He said improved seeds and plenty irrigation water helped boost the production. He said better harvest might lure farmers to stop cultivating opium poppies.
During his last month visit to the province, head of the counter-narcotics department at the Interior Ministry Gen. Daud Daud had said that Kunduz was among the 20 provinces where poppies would not be cultivated this year.