Despite the continuing disruption in Afghanistan caused by fighting between Soviet and rebel forces, government officials reported that agricultural output is showing an improvement.
GV Taxis and buses at Plaza Chowk.
GV People emerging from pedestrian underpass.
SVs Uniformed soldiers with guns mixing with crowd at street markets. (2 SHOTS)
SV Boy carrying tray of bread through streets and farmers bringing goods to market. (3 SHOTS)
Sv Nuts and spices on sale in street market and people buying vegetable and grain from street trader. (3 shots)
SVs People in market and looking at clothing on stall. (2 SHOTS)
SV Farmer using bullock team to harvest wheat. (3 SHOTS)
CU Farmer walking through field and cutting wheat. (2 SHOTS)
SV Farmer using bullock team to plough field as armed guard watches.
Gv Old trucks carry supplies along road to Kabul. (2 SHOTS)
SV Donkeys and camel carrying goods to market and horse-drawn cart with army truck along road. (2 SHOTS)
GV People walking through street market.
Background: Despite the continuing disruption in Afghanistan caused by fighting between Soviet and rebel forces, government officials reported that agricultural output is showing an improvement. The Soviet Union has some 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Their presence is evident in the streets of Kabul, but diplomats say there are also 2,000 Soviet civilians installed as advisors in all key industries, including agriculture and irrigation. The Ministry of Agriculture has reported production of wheat - the staple crop - at 2.6 million tonnes for the past year. This was 3.6 per cent more than in the previous year. The improvement is partly attributed to the introduction by the government of a programme of land reforms. The measures include the redistribution of land, improved irrigation, credit and marketing facilities for the peasants, and the creation of state farms and co-operatives. With Soviet help, Afghanistan's communist rulers are also introducing modern farming techniques in a country where farming methods have hardly altered for thousands of years. The Ministry of Agriculture has said that a large number of modern agricultural implements will be made available to the peasants on easy terms in the hope of encouraging more up-to-date farming methods. The farmers are also being taught to use improved seeds and fertilisers, mostly imported from the Soviet Union. Although most of Afghanistan is mountains and too dry for successful cultivation, agriculture is still the mainstay of the economy and contributes two-thirds of the national earnings.