The US Agriculture Department has shipped 150 tons of UG99 fungus-resistant wheat seed from Egypt to Afghanistan “to protect future crops, improve the livelihoods of thousands of Afghan farmers, and improve food security”, the US embassy said.
“This seed will be multiplied this year, and by next year [when it is distributed to farmers] it should be adequate to cover approximately 5 percent or more of wheat production area in Afghanistan,” Mireille L. Zieseniss, assistant press attaché at the US embassy in Kabul, told IRIN.
The expected multiplication, however, will be highly dependent upon favourable weather conditions. The country is prone to drought and floods among other natural disasters.
Millions of Afghans are chronically food insecure and the country struggles to produce enough cereals to meet domestic demand even in a good year, experts say.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions