Afghans swap poppies for wheat as food costs rise

As global grain prices continue to soar, Afghan farmers are hoping to capitalise on rising costs by growing wheat instead of opium poppy crops, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The report said price of a tonne of wheat in Afghanistan has almost trebled this year, causing acute food shortages. A significant increase in wheat crops is now expected from next year’s harvest.

 "The high price of commodities has encouraged farmers to switch from poppy cultivation to wheat," Tekeste Tekie, from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, was quoted as saying. "In fact, we are already seeing evidence of this happening, for instance in the Bamian region, where some farmers have planted half wheat and half poppy crops."

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