Profiles: North and north eastern Afghanistan

Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Saripul and Takhar provinces


The north and north east of the country have been seriously affected by both drought and fighting and there has been massive population displacement.


The drought has impacted most adversely on the rainfed 'lalmi' lands across the north and north east. In 2001 rainfed wheat decreased by 21 percent from 510,000 ha in 2000 to 401,000 ha. In 2001 wheat yields and production had dropped by 45 percent from the year before and by 80 percent from 1999.


Some river valleys still support intense agriculture but a lack of snowfall in the Hindu Kush mountains has depleted most rivers. The general irrigated area has declined by 6 percent, although production from the irrigated land only fell by 1 percent due to good yields and improved wheat varieties.


In March 2002 FAO launched a campaign to combat the worst locust plague to hit Afghanistan for 30 years. Three out of the nine northern provinces, Baghlan, Samangan and Kunduz, were particularly hard hit and over 70 percent of crop production across the north was deemed at risk.