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Poppy cultivation decreases in Uruzgan

KABUL: Poppy cultivation has recently witnessed a 29 per cent decrease in the southern province of Uruzgan, according to local officials, an unprecedented move in an area where a big part of poppy was being cultivated in the past years.

Juma Khan Bashiri, head of provincial counter-narcotics department,called public awareness program forthe local farmers about the negative impacts of drug and the distributing of alternative cultivations to themas two main reasons behind reduction of poppy cultivation there.

Although the provincial officials say that reductionin poppy cultivation is a big achievement for government, but the farmers deny the allegation.  

Farmerssay they stopped poppy cultivation on their lands because of the fall ofopium prices in the markets comparedto the past yearsas well as unsatisfactory crop harvest.

Farmers in the province said that if the government co-operates with them in the field of alternative cultivation, nobody will cultivate poppy.

Afghanistan is still blamed by the international community as a great drug producer and supplier, with the southern areas like Uruzgan and Helmand providing more than 90 per cent of poppy.

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