IEA bans wheat exports due to a shortage for domestic needs

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has banned the export of wheat, citing a shortage in meeting the domestic market demand as the reason.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Afghanistan needs 6.5 million tons of wheat annually, but domestic production totals only four million tons.

The IEA imposed the ban after videos emerged on social media recently of wheat being smuggled through Spin Boldak in Kandahar into Pakistan.

The Ministry of Finance has meanswhile also asked all customs departments to prevent shipments of wheat from leaving the country and to crack down on smuggling.

According to a ministry spokesman: “We stopped the export of wheat because we still need it, so the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance started the export ban process.”

Officials from the Afghan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock welcomed the move, adding that the smuggling of all products and produce out of the country, including wheat, should be stopped.

“We are happy with this move by the Islamic Emirate, because now our wheat will be processed inside our own country, and investment has been made in this area. Our country now has the capacity to process it,” said Mirwais Hajizada, deputy director of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.

Economic experts also said that banning the country’s wheat exports is essential in terms of managing the national economy and developing the country’s domestic production.