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Afghanistan bans wheat export to meet local needs

KABUL, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan caretaker government has banned wheat exports with immediate effect in a move to meet local needs, the government confirmed on Friday.

"Acting Finance Minister Mullah Hidayatullah Badri has directed all customs offices in the country to stop exporting wheat," it said in a statement, adding that the decision was made to prevent a shortage of wheat in the country.

More than 22 million out of the 35 million population in Afghanistan face acute food shortages.

However, the Taliban-run administration has speeded up its efforts to help Afghan farmers by introducing advanced technologies in farming, according to agriculture officials.

Rice and wheat flour are two main food sources in Afghanistan.