BAMYAN CITY - Wheat production in the central Bamyan province decreased by more than 14,500 tons due to drought and lack of rainfall, officials and farmers said on Sunday. The total wheat production of the province was more than 55,000 tons last year. The amount has decreased to 41,000 tons this year, Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Mohammad Tahir Ataee told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The drought hit the Waras, Punjab, Saighan, Kuhmard and Shiber Yakawlang districts and Bamyan City, causing the decline of the harvest, he said. Naeem, a farmer in Waras district, said that his five acres of land, which had yielded 1680 kilograms of wheat last year, had produced no wheat this year.
He harvested his crops for animal feed because they could produce no grains, he said.
According to Ataee, the potato harvest also fell by roughly 15 percent, but he could not give exact figures on production because the crop has not yet ripened.
Last year, the potato harvest was 150,000 tons, and 20,000 more potatoes were imported from Tajikistan, he said.
Syed Aziz, a resident of Punjab, said that if his 2.5 acre potato field did not get sufficient water in the next month, his crop would wither and die. If that happens, he said, his family might go hungry, since the potato crop is his only source of income.
His land produced 21 tons of yield last year, but he does not yet know how much it will produce this year.
Due to the drought and lack of rainfall, most of the residents of the Waras district have left their homes and settled in the cities, said district chief Hajji Sulaiman Mirzayee. Two to 10 families from each village in the district have migrated to Herat City, Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Ghazni City; the rest of them intend to move to cities soon, he said.