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Self-sufficiency in wheat production

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has claimed that the country would become self-sufficient in wheat production by 2020. The deputy minister of agriculture Mir Amanuddin Haidari said that the ministry has drafted a strategy for grain production to meet the demand side. The draft strategy has been sent to the presidential office for approval. It is said that the strategy would get nod from the president next week. Currently, the country needs six million tons of wheat while Afghanistan produces only 5.5 million tons. The new strategy is mostly about modernized agriculture because majority of farmers in Afghanistan are using traditional methods. Improvement of irrigation system, training programs for farmers and availability of improved seed are other key components of the strategy. Modern irrigation system is imperative to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production because 80 percent of wheat cultivation is rain fed.

In the post-Soviet Afghan war era, the country has faced several challenges. The civil war has prevented Afghanistan from overcoming these challenges because there has been constant struggle for power and foreign interference. Since ouster of the Taliban from power, the country has shown tremendous progress in different areas, except security. Law and order situation will remain challenging until foreign interference ends. But, speed of the progress in other sectors is somehow satisfactory. Afghans from every walk of life had contributed to great extent towards reconstruction and development of the country. The journey of progress is never-ending but the nation is showing no sign of fatigue. The spirits are high. However, we need wise leadership that could direct the nation and resolve the outstanding problems.

Unfortunately, the leadership is not providing the guidance and support that is essential to become self-sufficient in every field. Farmers and local industrialists are within their rights to ask for more facilities. The ministry of agriculture has performed well in the over past decade but the other relevant organizations are not doing their job properly. As a result, the government failed to improve the irrigation system and bring more barren lands under cultivation while constructing new dams.

Thus, the government shall take steps to enhance coordination between the ministries that could create employment opportunities through improvement in agriculture sector. It is responsibility of the NUG leaders to make sure that the resources are utilized appropriately. Lack of funds is not a good excuse. The government shall devise fruitful policies in this regard. It is for what the people voted and supported the leaders.

Therefore, a commission should be established to monitor activities of the ministers regarding development of the agriculture sector. The supposed commission shall also encourage farmers to adopt modern farming methods.