Helmand rebels encourage farmers to grow poppy crop
ZARANJ (Pajhwok): In yet another tragic development, Taliban force farmers to grow poppy in southwestern Nimroz province, an official said Saturday.
Mohammad Hashim Noorzai, administrative chief of Khashrud district, said certain mafia and militants’ groups encouraged farmers to cultivate poppy and borrowed them loan for the crop.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News mafia groups were forcing farmers to grow poppy on large swathes of the land to return the former’s loans.
Kashrud district bordering restive Helmand province, said Noorzai who added that militants have greater influence on farmers of this district.
Agriculture Director Mohammad Akbar Sharifi said farmers in Dilaram district were unable to get refined seeds provided by the government because of reprisal from rebels.
He said the government has lost control over various parts of Nimroz and poppy were being cultivated freely on areas bordering Pakistan and Iran.
Humayun Amini, director of counternarcotics department, said: “Because of multiple problems we have been unable to implement poppy eradication campaign in Nimroz.”
Abdul Haq, one of the farmers in Khashrud district, said government has failed to help us and they were forced to grow poppy.
Maulvi Aziz Ahmad, a religious scholar, said buying and selling of poppy was against the teachings of Islam and Haram (unlawful).
He demanded the government to adopt measures to prevent poppy cultivation in the province.
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