District police chiefs learn new skills to fight poppy
LASHKARGAH (PAN): District police chiefs received a training on how to combat poppy cultivation in southern Helmand province during a three-day workshop that concluded here on Wednesday.
Nawa district police chief, Col. Ahmad Shah, who attended the workshop at the Police Training Centre in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, said the illicit plant had not been cultivated in the district this year, thanks to an anti-poppy campaign that led to the arrest of farmers planning to cultivate the crop.
He said police officials had already received a similar training on counternarcotics at the same centre.
Shah said at the three-day event they learned new techniques how to fight opium production and create awareness among farmers in this regard.
Greshk police chief Col. Hekmatullah told Pajhwok Afghan News the overburdened police had to deal with many challenges including poppy cultivation, the security transition and the elections process.
He said they did not allow poppy cultivation in areas under their control and the supply of fertiliser to areas where militants held sway had been banned.
An official at the police training centre in Lashkargah, Abdul Mohammad Zafarkhel, said the workshop participants were introduced new skills and techniques on how to prevent poppy cultivation and other illegal activities.
But farmers say they would continue cultivating poppies in their fields as long as the government did not resolve their problems.
The training comes as the United Nations said poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has risen by 36 percent.
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