Poppy cultivation up by 7pc this year: Sherzad
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Acting Counternarcotics Minister Haroon Rashid Sherzad on Sunday said poppy cultivation increased by seven percent in the country this season owing to insecurity.
Sherzad, who visited the Panjwai district of southern Kandahar province, said their investigations showed the plant had been sown on 224,000 hectares of land in 132 districts this season, seven per cent up from the previous year.
He said the main factor behind the increase in poppy cultivation was insecurity and the international community and the government had failed to halt the growing cultivation of the illicit crop.
The official said the bulk of poppy, 65 percent, was cultivated in Helmand, Kandahar, Farah and Nimroz provinces this season.
He said his ministry had taken necessary steps to prevent poppy cultivation, but it required time and resources.
Sherzad informed the poppy eradication drive was underway in southern provinces and so far hundred of hectares of land had been cleared.
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