LASHKARGAH (SW) – A number of Helmand residents have expressed fears about smuggling of wheat from here to Pakistan at the time of pressing needs.
According to them, some people are smuggling wheat to Pakistan and other countries illegally after buying wheat from farmers in the province at throw away prices.
Residents of Helmand said that the smuggling of wheat abroad has increased its domestic price at this time of harvest, and if local officials do not stop it, the province will face a shortage of wheat.
Lal Mohammad Safa, an economist in Helmand, said Afghanistan badly needs wheat in the current situation, and smuggling it to other countries will cause wheat shortages in Helmand.
Zalmai Aloko, head of Helmand's agriculture department, denies reports about smuggling of wheat from the province to Pakistan, but said the Ministry of Agriculture and Finance, security agencies and customs have been notified to take action to prevent any possibility of it.
According to the Helmand department of agriculture, wheat was cultivated on some over 115, 000 hectares of land in this province and an estimated 443 thousand tons of wheat was expected to be harvested.
Concerns over Helmand's wheat being smuggled to Pakistan and other countries come as Afghanistan imports tens of thousands of tons of wheat from other countries each year to meet domestic needs.