The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock said on Sunday estimated that wheat production in the country will be down 20% this year due to drought.
The ministry figures indicate that wheat production in the country could be about 4 million (metric) tons this year, and the drought will reduce wheat yield by 1 million (metric) tons.
Ministry officials said the drought has impacted 75 districts in various parts of the country, making life difficult for farmers and livestock owners.
Akbar Rustami, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL), said: “Afghanistan’s annual need is 6.4 million metric tons. Considering the 4 million metric tons of wheat production this year, we will have a deficit of 2 million metric tons.”
According to MAIL officials, the reduction in wheat yield will require Afghanistan to import flour and wheat, which will lead to an increase in wheat prices.
According to information provided by MAIL, 3 million heads of livestock in the country are in danger of dying this year due to a lack of feed and water.
To prevent the loss of livestock and to meet farmers' problems, MAIL said that it has begun the process of distributing animal feed to farmers in cooperation with donor organizations.
The State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs said the government has only limited resources on hand to address the drought's impact.
“It is anticipated that the drought will impact the people of Afghanistan in several zones. In our drought management plan, we have divided areas that will be impacted by the drought into eight zones, and the southwestern, western, and northwestern zones will be impacted by the drought more than other zones,” said Abdullah Walizada, media adviser to the State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs.
President Ghani has previously said that the Afghan government lacks the funds to address the impact caused by the drought.
The Afghan government is working to determine the amount required to address the drought challenges in the country, and once this is completed the government will request that donor institutions and countries contribute and provide these funds to Afghanistan, said officials at the State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs.