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Anti-narcotics drive in 2014 a complete failure: Report

KABUL: An investigative report released by PAYK Investigative Journalism Center says that anti-narcotics program has been faced with failure as in Helmand Province, not even 1 percent of poppy cultivation has been eradicated. The report adds that same was the situation of poppy eradication campaigns in other parts of the country.

The report reveals that in 2014, in many areas of Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province, even not one percent of the poppy cultivation has been eradicated based on a recent analysis of data from the United Nations Information Office of Drug Control (UNODC) and other local officials.

It was projected that in the year 2014, more than 20 thousand hectares of poppy cultivations across the country will be destroyed, but the statistics for the year compared with 2013, show that there was a seven percent 7% increase in poppy cultivation and a three percent 3% reduction in poppy eradication operations.

The latest statistics released by the United Nations Office of Drug Control shows that in Helmand province in 2014, 54 percent 54% of the land is under cultivation, the highest rate in the country.  Additionally, it has a rate of less than one percent 1% of poppy eradication, the lowest in comparison to all the other provinces.

Kandahar and Farah provinces in the South and West of the country, fall in the same category. Only Badakhshan province in the north-east of the country had 33 percent 33% poppy eradication in the past year.

The government’s inability to eradicate poppy compared to 2013, not only resulted in a thirty percent 30% increase in opium production, but also led to at least a twenty percent 20% reduction in the price per kilogram of opium. The report also shed light on factors that influenced that rendered anti-narcotics drive ineffective. It blames the failure on deteriorating security situation and spread of militancy.

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