Wed, Oct

Poppy Fields Cleared In Crackdown Campaign In Kandahar's Panjwayee


poppy-eradicationDrug enforcement agents launched a massive campaign on Monday in Panjwayee district of southern Kandahar province aimed at destroying poppy fields in one of the main drug belts in Afghanistan.

The poppies are used to make opium, of which Afghanistan tops the list as being the world's largest producer.
Local officials in Kandahar said that acres of cultivated poppy fields have been destroyed in the operation.

Meanwhile, a number of local farmers have said that the lack of proper marketing and no access to markets for agricultural products has forced them to grow poppies.
Police in the area have called on farmers to cooperate with the security forces in the campaign.
"On the orders of the ministry of interior and the police department, we decided to impose a ban on drugs in coordination with the people," Panjwayee acting police chief Hazrat Wali said.
Elaborating on the problems facing the farmers, Mohammad Ishaqzai, Panjwayee district governor pledged that the provincial government will look for better opportunities to facilitate the farmers' access to markets.

"We have implemented a number of projects which are preferred by the people. We are determined to eliminate opium production and are currently destroying poppy fields with the help of tractors," Panjwayee district governor Fazal Mohammad Eshaqzai said.
"Government which prevents us from cultivating poppies must introduce alternatives. The resin (from poppies used to make opium) is lying at home and no one is here to purchase it," one farmer said.
This comes amid a surge in poppy cultivation and opium manufacturing in northern, southern and eastern regions of the province.