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Water scarcity affects wheat yield in Ghazni.

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): With no alternative income sources, farmers in southern Ghazni province are grappling with poor wheat yield this year due to a lack of seasonal rains.

Hamidullah, a resident of Deh Yak district, told Pajhwok Afghan News their farm output was badly hit by inadequate rainfall and water this year.

"My wheat yield went up from 2,100 to 3,500 kilograms in previous years, but this year, I harvested only 980 kg of wheat from the same land,'' he said.

Hamidullah, who had farming for the past 30 years, claimed the agriculture output reduced year by year because irrigated lands through water pumps impacted crops.

Asadullah, from Rashikhel area of Ander district, linked poor agriculture produces, especially wheat, due to water shortage and non-availability of improved seeds.

He said:"Lack of water in Kariz failed to irrigate wheat crops and I was forced to purchase 4,000 to 5,000 afs worth of oil to irrigate my land through water pump. But yields was so less as it did not compensate the money I paid to purchase the oil.''

He said people do not have access to high-yield seeds that they planted in previous years and the new Indian and Pakistani varieties are of poor quality.

High oil prices, strong winds and hails damaged agriculture crops in the province this year, said Abdul Alim, another Deh Yak resident.

"We were not given improved seeds and chemical fertilizer and when we approached the agriculture department they said they did not have the resources," he added.

Agriculture director, Sultan Husain Abasyar, acknowledged that there was 30-40 percent reduction in wheat yields in some areas of the province.

He also blamed the poor farm productivity in Kariz due to water scarcity, dusty weather, unseasonal rain, hails and the poor economic conditions of farmers.

He added they distributed improved seeds and chemical fertilizer to farmers last year on time, but that were not adequate, saying they have reconstructed a big water dam in Kavian area of Deh Yak district, which would mitigate water woes of farmers.

mm/vp

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Jul 22, 2012
Words:362
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