Poppy cultivation up in Uruzgan: Governor
TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): The acting governor of central Uruzgan province on Saturday said a weak anti-poppy campaign had resulted in an increase in poppy cultivation.
Speaking to a gathering in Tirinkot, Amanullah Timuri alleged the central government did not encourage farmers financially to grow other crops and that was why poppy cultivation had increased.
He said the growers had asked the government and NGOs to help them in the cultivation of other crops, but the authorities did not respond to their calls.
“I had informed the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics (MCN) about the danger of poppy cultivation, but the officials said they were waiting for the arrival of foreign funds,” he added.
The governor stressed the international community and the government should begin supporting the farmers. In some areas of the province, he explained, the illicit crop had been harvested.
He alleged the government launched anti-poppy efforts at a time when they yielded no concrete results. He urged the farmers to grow other crops on their land.
Meanwhile, farmers demanded incentives from the government. Bari Dad, one of the poppy growers living a few kilometers away from the governor house, confirmed he had cultivated the crop.
Dad complained government assistance was too little to replace revenue from poppies. In addition, he claimed massive corruption in distribution of funds.
Tribal elder Haji Abdul Bawar blamed government officials for failing to enforce the ban on poppy cultivation in the province. He said farmers had no option but to grow the illicit crop.
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