Once a major exporter of fruit and grain with a booming agricultural sector, more than thirty years of war have ravaged Afghanistan’s farm sector, leaving many Afghan farmers struggling to survive.
Afghanistan was once a major agricultural producer. The country’s once stable government and economy stimulated agricultural production and ample fruit and wheat crops generated major export revenues. The 1979 Soviet invasion, however, put an end to that production. Years of war and the internal upheaval that followed the war all but destroyed the agricultural sector.
In addition to the material losses and the damage done to the country’s infrastructure, the human costs of the war, particularly the heavy casualties, led to the erosion of the farm sector as knowledgeable farmers died in military operations.
As recently as the last few years, Afghan farmers has been reduced to nearly subsistence living. While major American military operations may be winding down, the US military and the federal government have offered significant aid, both technological and financial, to Afghan farmers. This, plus a recent bout of good weather, has boosted crop production and led to a major decline in Afghan cereal imports.
While Afghanistan’s agricultural sector may still be struggling, it appears to be on the long road to recovery.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer