Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, the Finance Minister, authorized all customs offices on Thursday,May 19, to prevent wheat export or trade.
According to a report released by the state-run Bakhtar News Agency, the country’s wheat production was anticipated to be four million tonnes last year; however, the Ministry of Agriculture has yet to assess the current year’s wheat yield.
The measure has been taken to avoid wheat shortfall and food scarcity, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan stated on his twitter handle.
Farmers across the country are complaining about the lack of rain and the their agricultural grounds running dry this year.
Furthermore, as a result of recent political developments, the Afghan people are experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis. In addition to that, food prices, particularly wheat, have risen substantially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the price for wheat has increased by 50% in different parts of Kandahar province, it is claimed that some people have begun smuggling wheat to Pakistan.
Previously, World Food Programme (WFP) reported that since the fall of the former government to the Taliban, over 22 million people face severe hunger.
According to UN, hunger and food shortages affect up to 97% of the Afghan population.
Wheat is the country’s principal source of nutrition. Afghanistan is estimated to require more than six million tonnes of wheat each year to feed its 33 million population.
The decision of banning the exportation of wheat comes at a time when India has pledged to provide 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as humanitarian aid in addition to medications.