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Afghans expect 4.6 million tonnes wheat output, says UN
KABUL ,Afghanistan is expected to harvest 4.6 million tonnes of wheat this year, it's best harvest since the country descended into war 25 years ago, partly because of good rain, a UN official said on Thursday.
Last year the wheat harvest was 2.6 million tonnes, which was an 80 percent increase over the previous year, but this year's harvest is expected to be 4.6 million tonnes, the best output since 1978, the last year of normal production before the war.
"This is going to be the best harvest in a quarter of a century," Nigel Fisher, a deputy UN special representative for Afghanistan, told a news briefing.
Factors contributing to the good harvest included excellent rains after years of drought, the return of cultivators because of peace, international assistance with seeds and tools, and the clearing of landmines, he said.
Also, both this year and last year major potential locust infestations were averted in a broad band across the north of the country, its main wheat region, Fisher said.
Peace returned to landlocked Afghanistan in late 2001, after US-led forces defeated the former Taleban regime.

MGR Archive 11.7.2003
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