Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Afghan Agricultural Ministry calls for $2.5 billion to ensure food security

Officials from the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock have claimed that if given $2.5 billion in aid by 2011, the government’s agriculture sector could ensure nationwide food security and eliminate poppy cultivation, the United Nations’ IRIN news agency reported Wednesday.

To that end, the Afghan government is ambitiously seeking $100 million in aid during the next several weeks to boost 2008 crop yields. Afghanistan produced 5.6 million metric tons of cereals (primarily wheat, corn, beans, and rice) in 2007, but officials want to increase that sum by another 1.2 million metric tons in two years.

The country already produces about 90 percent of the national requirements, but much of it gets either smuggled abroad, wasted due to poor quality milling, or hoarded. With up to 70 percent of Afghanistan’s 26 million people considered food-insecure, improving the nation’s agriculture sector remains one of the central government’s greatest challenges.

For the full article, click here.


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