Saturday, April 19, 2008

April, 19/08

Farmers Displaced in Balkh Province

Dry spring, which shattered arable lands and increased the food prices, forced hundreds of farmers who only support their life and families through agriculture, to leave their homes to different villages in Alborz and Sholgara districts of Balkh province in order to survive.

In a landlocked country where only 12 percent of the land is arable, irrigating land is limited to three options: canals fed by river and rain, a natural spring, or the ancient underground aquifer known as karez. For the farmer fortunate enough to cultivate a sliver of the available 78,240 hectares of Afghanistan land, only an estimated 20 to 40 percent of canal-irrigated land was available for harvest in 2002 due to insufficient seed and water for irrigation

This spring, farmers and their families left their farms and pastureland because of the dry weather; they had no means to feed their children. The dehydrated spring and lack of rain destroyed numerous farms and pastureland in Afghanistan; especially in the northern cities this year.

Mr. Neyamatullah Mashab, The governor of Sholgara district, had promised the farmers that he is going to inform the provincial council regarding the situation. In addition, Mr. Governor had told the local media that 90% of the farms are destroyed in the dry spring, which is going to increase the price of vegetables and fruit this year. The villagers requested United Nations’ help to support their families.

Afghanistan had a deadly winder that took the lives of thousands of people but, as soon as the season changed, farmers never countenance any rainy weather to grow produce or livestock on their farms.

Balkh province is the pinnacle metropolitan that furnishes every year the best quality of watermelons, melons, many other fruit and vegetables within and outer surface of the country.