The Kabul Times.
Politics

Reduction of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan

By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: Officials for the ministry of interior in a joint survey with Afghanistan Central Statistics Authority have informed of reduction of poppy cultivation in the country. The survey, which been released four months later, shows that poppy cultivation has considerably reduced in the country.
 
Deputy minister of counter narcotics for interior Najib Ahmadi by pointing to reduction of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan says besides increasing of military operations on narcotics and drugs producing companies, arresting of drug-traffickers and regional elements have also put serious impacts on reduction of poppy in the country.
 
“Low price of poppy, clearing areas from the control of Taliban by ANDSF, changes in money exchange section in particular Pakistani rupees and Iranian reyal in the country’s east and west are considered as main causes of reduction in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan,” Ahmadi said.
 
He added that poppy planted in 163,000 hectare land during 2019, showing 38 percent decrease comparing to 2018.
According to the MoI report, 96 companies producing narcotics in the country have been destroyed during military operations launched by Afghan security forces, while 117 tons of drugs and $1 million have been seized from drug-traffickers in the past one year.
 
Ministry of interior has informed of 38 percent of reduction in poppy cultivation in the country at a time when Senate claims that most of poppy cultivation does happen in Taliban under control areas.
According to Senate’s counter narcotics commission, in consideration to poppy cultivation in Helmand, no considerable reduction has been seen in poppy cultivation in the province and the commission is still stressing on cooperation of farmers in reduction of poppy cultivation in the province.
 
Senators stressed that farmers should be distributed with seeds as alternative for poppy cultivation, saying farmers would continue to cultivate poppy if a proper alternative was not introduced to farmers.
 
For the past two weeks, ministry of interior has launched operations to eradicate and destroy fields with poppy cultivation in government control areas in Nangarhar and Helmand provinces. Officials for the ministry of counter narcotics say anti-drug and counter narcotics drive will seriously continue and spare no efforts in this regard.
 
Afghan experts believe that three key elements as corruption, mafia and mismanagement are considered as the most significant elements in increasing of poppy cultivation and drug-trafficking in the country.
They added that unfortunately poppy cultivation has increased and changed to world issue in the past 19 years.
According to Afghan political experts, although Afghanistan government has made continued efforts towards rooting out poppy cultivation in the country, presence of international mafia has caused that the efforts have not been effective. They considered increasing insecurities and continued war in the country as one of the main reasons for increasing of poppy cultivation in some areas of the country.
 
Based on reports, Taliban insurgent group mostly benefit of drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation in Afghanistan as insecure districts of the country have changed to the biggest source of poppy cultivation and production of drugs in the country.
 
 

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The Kabul Times.