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Editorial: Not Only Drought

This year Afghan farmers may likely face enormous challenges due to lack of snowfall. They will surely plant different kinds of seeds but the fate of their crop hangs in the balance as there is no adequate snowfall. Unfortunately drought is on the horizon, it could be the worst in a decade which also prolong conflict and poverty. Many families may push to leave their areas due to food insecurity and it would be an issue of surviving for them to find one meal a day. Since more than half of the Afghan populations are engaged in farming, nothing promising awaits for them, especially when the Afghan government is already scrambling with dozens of issues likely to find any best alternative to cover the mess. If there is water there will be crops. If it does not, there will be nothing. Insufficient irrigation systems are another obstacle. The issue is very serious. Alas, every year drought or other natural disaster has put millions of people into food insecurity and there is a need for a pre plan to not let the large-scale food crisis degenerate into a disaster. The government has to wake up and realize the gravity of this crisis and stand ready to respond before the situation gets worse. Since over half of the populations are also living under the poverty line, any delay to help this community will make things harder for families already struggling to cope. Ignorance will force the people to reduce the amount of food they are eating and selling what little they have. But still it could not be prevented if we don’t act today. We still have time to stop this becoming an irreversible disaster. Without doubt the drought will have a huge impact. Just a few days without rain, the price of 7kg of wheat jumped up by a third, from $2 to $3. The wheat crop has already dried up and there is a need to stop the farmer’s sheep from drought. This is not only about them; it’s about all the 35 million Afghans. When there is no farming, there is no foodstuff and other essential needs in the market. The price will go higher and higher, creating trouble for the poor Afghans. Another looming risk is that the farmers might turn to the illegal illicit crop, which typically yields higher profits than any other cash crop. They will not hesitate a minute to cultivate poppies because it doesn’t require too much water. They will do this if did not find enough income to provide food for themselves, but it’s avoidable if the government address their problems in immediate move.

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