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Agriculture has been almost wiped out in many parts of Afghanistan, and many farmers lack one of the most basic tools to revive it: seeds for their traditional crops.

But help for the farmers of this war-torn and drought-plagued country may now be on the way, thanks to a fortuitous deposit in a seed bank in nearby Syria.

Afghani seeds stored at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Aleppo, Syria, are being returned to their native land this month in the first stage of a long process to rebuild the country’s agriculture.

Reference: Science 295, 2200 (2002)

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