News FocusAgriculture

Reseeding Project Offers Aid to Strapped Afghani Farmers

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Science  22 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5563, pp. 2200
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5563.2200

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Drought and war have crippled agriculture in Afghanistan, but an international plant-breeding network is trying to improve a desperate situation. A few months ago, researchers at an international plant center in Syria reached into their freezer to retrieve about 200 samples of chickpeas, barley, lentils, and fava beans collected decades ago in the marketplaces and mountainsides of Afghanistan. The seedlings from these botanical remnants of Afghanistan's past are being returned to their native land this month as a first step in restoring the country's agricultural diversity.