阿富汗禁用硝酸銨 農民收成驟減 | 環境資訊中心

阿富汗禁用硝酸銨 農民收成驟減


2010年6月,阿富汗的國際安全部隊在賀爾曼德省(Helmand)尋獲兩百磅的硝酸銨,這些足以製造出25個爆炸裝置,而安全部隊也同時尋獲數噸的海洛因和罌粟。 圖片來自:ISAF Media相本。位於阿富汗東部的卡比薩省(Kapisa)農民表示自從政府規定禁止使用可製成炸藥的化學肥料後,使他們的收成嚴重減少。

去年阿富汗總統Hamed Karzai頒布禁令,禁止進口和販賣硝酸銨,因為該項化學材料在叛亂份子設置的路邊炸彈中檢測出來。


來自Adazai村的Nur Agha說到:「當我以前有使用硝酸銨的時候,我一年可以賣420公斤的乾梅。自從去年禁止使用該項肥料後,我只採收了70公斤的梅子,因為梅子在成熟之前就已經掉落。」





種植穀類的農民也保持著相似的看法。卡比薩的居民Sayed Ajan說到:「當小麥開始長出穗的時候,小麥的葉子便轉黃,而這些麥穗大多是空心的。我以前一年可以收成11噸的小麥來賣,但去年我只有收成4噸的小麥,所以我必須要購買更多的種子來種植小麥。」




在鄰近的帕爾望省(Parwan)當地農業機構授課的Abdul Wadud 表示,最近有許多農夫向他請教這個問題。他說:「依照農夫所說明的徵狀,顯示了氮缺乏是造成問題的原因。當政府禁止販賣硝酸銨時,應該要著手提供另一種可用的替代肥料。」


省立的農業部部長Abdul Ghias表示,硝酸銨禁令並沒有明顯的效果。他說:「目前就我所見,缺少這項肥料對農產品的產量並沒有影響,我不認同那些農夫說這項禁令會減少農產量的說法。有可能是蟲害降低了他們的產量。」


但農業部的發言人提出一些救助的可能。發言人Majid Qarar表示:「我們的農業部官員將會針對這規定對農夫收成所造成影響損害進行研究調查。如果他們的收成因缺少肥料而減少,我們將會賠償這些農夫並提供他們必要的協助。」


Explosives Fertilizer Ban Hits Afghan Fruit Growers
TAGAB, Afghanistan, June 6, 2011 (ENS)

Farmers in Kapisa province of eastern Afghanistan say their harvests have gone into drastic decline since the government banned chemical fertilizers that can be used to make bombs.

President Hamed Karzai ordered a ban on imports and sales of ammonium nitrate last year, on the grounds that the chemical had been detected in roadside bombs planted by insurgents.

Farmers in Kapisa's Tagab district say the loss of chemical fertilizers has slashed local agricultural production.

Nur Agha, from the village of Adazai, said, "When I was using ammonium nitrate, I was selling 420 kilograms of dried prunes a year. Last year, after the fertilizer was banned, I harvested just 70 kilograms of plums as the fruit dropped before it was ripe."

The farmer said he now believed Afghanistan's international allies "want us to lose our livelihoods and be forced to go to war."

Eight out of ten Afghans are involved in agriculture or animal husbandry, but chronic underdevelopment and years of war mean the farming sector is always on the edge. Even when ammonium nitrate was allowed, growing crops was an arduous task based on manual labour, and farmers were lucky to make a subsistence living.

A local elder in Tagab who did not want to be named said the plum trees in his orchard had yellowing leaves and dropped their fruit prematurely. He compared the fertilizer ban to the outlawing of opium production - in both cases the authorities had failed to come up with a workable alternative.

"We're fed up with orders from the government. One day, they tell us not to grow poppy as it's harmful to their foreign friends. The next, they tell us not to use this [fertilizer], again because it harms their foreign friends," he said. "Promises of assistance haven't been delivered on. I am left with an orchard that isn't productive because there's no ammonium nitrate since the government ban, and there is no alternative fertilizer."

Cereal farmers paint a similar picture.

"When the wheat starts growing ears, the foliage turns yellow. The ears are mostly empty, as well," Kapisa resident Sayed Ajan said. "I used to harvest 11 tons of wheat a year and sell it on, but I only got four tons last year so I had to buy in more for myself."

Exports of dried fruits to South Asia are a major revenue source for Afghanistan. Ikram, a merchant involved in the trade in Tagab, says he managed to dispatch just over one ton of dried prunes to India last year, compared with his earlier annual average of three tons. He said the lower production resulted not only in limited supply but also in higher farm-gate prices for wholesale buyers like him.

"When quantities are low, our costs go up. Right now we aren't making much of a profit," he said.

The shift in wholesale prices has forced another trader, Hadi, to stop exporting pomegranates to Pakistan altogether this year.

"As crop levels fell, prices increased. Last year, we would have bought two tons of pomegranates for 500 dollars, but this year the price is 1,200 dollars because market demand is high," he explained. "I personally have stopped doing this business."

In the neighboring Parw」an province, Abdul Wadud, who lectures at the local agricultural institute, said many farmers had come to him to ask about the problem.

"The symptoms as explained by the farmers indicate that the cause is lack of nitrogen," he said.

Wadud said the government should have started providing alternative forms of fertilizer when it stopped sales of ammonium nitrate.

In Tagab, farmers said they have applied for help to agriculture officials several times, without success.

Government officials are sending out mixed messages on the issue.

Abdul Ghias, head of the provincial agriculture department, said that the ammonium nitrate ban has had no discernable effect.

"As far as I can see, the absence of this fertilizer has had no impact on product quantities," he said. "I disagree with the claims the farmers are making. It may be that pests have reduced their productivity."

While agriculture officials would offer help if crops could be shown to be infested or diseased, he said, there was no question of paying compensation for fertilizers withdrawn from sale.

"The use of ammonium nitrate has been prohibited and we have to implement these orders," he said.

However, a spokesman for the agriculture ministry held out some hope of assistance.

"Our agriculture officials will conduct research on the damage done to the farmers' crops. If their crops have been reduced by the lack of fertilizers, we are prepared to compensate farmers and provide them with the assistance they need," said spokesman Majid Qarar.

He added that two other types of fertilizers are being made available, and should fill the gap left by ammonium nitrate.