550 acres of poppies eradicated in Uruzgan
TIRINKOT (PAN): Nearly 550 acres of poppies have been eradicated during a week-long campaign in the central province of Uruzgan, officials said on Saturday.
The eradication campaign beginning a week earlier involved personnel from Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and officials of the National Directorate of Security, police chief, Col. Fazal Ahmad Sherzad, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
"We are trying our best to completely remove poppy fields in the province," he said.
The campaign which was limited to provincial capital, Tirinkot, resulted in the eradication of nearly 550 acres of land cultivated with the illicit plant, provincial counternarcotics chief, Col. Noorullah Hotak, said.
Eight land mines were found and defused during the campaign which was technically supported by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), he said.
Attacks launched by Taliban fighters on police during the campaign had been repelled, the official said.
A farmer in Tirinkot City, Matiullah, called poppy the only source of income for his family. "We will face harsh economic problems after our fields are destroyed," he said.
He said they would abandon growing poppies in their fields, if the government established factories in the area to provide work opportunities to locals.
The resident feared bad economic conditions of people could lead to increase in incidents of robberies and other criminal activities.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.