Uzbekistan exports 100,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan

27.12.2016

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Monday said that the process of exporting nearly 100,000 tons of wheat from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan will start within three months, reports Tolonews.

The ministry has said that the wheat will be stockpiled for emergency purposes.

India has also pledged to provide 130,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan, officials said.

Meanwhile, Lotfullah Rashid, a spokesman for MAIL said the national procurement commission has finalized the contract to purchase the wheat from Uzbekistan and that the total shipment of 100,000 tons will arrive in the country within three months.

“The wheat, which is to be imported from Uzbekistan, will be used for emergency purposes,” said Rashid.

Afghanistan needs nearly six million tons of wheat annually. Of this, 4.5 million is from the domestic market and the remainder is imported from neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, agriculture experts have asked government to forge a comprehensive strategy so that the country can become self-reliant in terms of wheat production.

“Instead of importing wheat, the government should focus on the expansion of wheat cultivation; this would help the country’s economic development and will also improve the lives of the farmers,” said Yasamin Farahmand, a member of the Academy of Science.

“The private sector is ready to invest in the agriculture sector particularly in wheat production, but for this government needs to work with investors and resolve their problems,” said Seyam Pesarlai, spokesman for the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

According to the ACCI, currently Afghanistan imports the majority of its food items from central Asian countries.


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