The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.
Wheat is the staple food for most Afghans, comprising more than 70 percent of their diet. Low-quality rice is a poor, but sometimes necessary, substitute. All markets represent significant population centers and consumer markets. Kabul, the capital, supplies the central provinces and is a transit point between the north, south, east, and west. Jalalabad supplies the eastern part of the country and acts as a cross-border market with Pakistan. Mazar-e-Sarif supplies northern provinces and, in a good year, the southern provinces as well. Faizabad supplies the chronically food insecure northeast region. Maimana market supplies the drought-prone northwest region. Hirat supplies the west. Kandahar supplies the southwestern part of the country where drought, civil insecurity, and war often hinder market activity.