2,500 hectares of poppies in Kandahar to be eradicated
KANDAHAR CITY (PAJHWOK): Poppy cultivation has considerably declined as a result of improved security in many areas of southern Kandahar province, an official said on Wednesday.
Counternarcotics Director Gul Muhammad Shukran told Pajhwok Afghan News poppies had been planted in Zherai, Panjwai, Maiwand and Shah Walikot districts this year.
But the cultivation of the illicit crop has fallen under the Food Zone programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the official.
He added the provincial authorities would take concrete measures to clear 1,500 hectares of land of poppies in Kandahar this year. The target has been has been set by the ministry concerned under the US-funded initiative.
Zherai district chief Haji Jamal Agha also confirmed the decrease in poppy cultivation, where retaining walls and small bridges are being built under the Food Zone programme.
But some farmers claimed economic problems and lack of access to markets had prompted a number of growers to cultivate poppies.
One grower, Haji Abdul Qayyum, said they had little access to markets where they could sell their produce at reasonable rates. Subsequently, farmers have resorted to growing poppies.
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