2nd crop of poppy cultivation underway in Helmand
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The second poppy crop is ready for cultivation in southern Helmand province, an official said on Tuesday.
Director counternarcotics Lal Mohammad Azizi told Pajhwok Afghan News that farmers used to cultivate opium in fall season only but they had cultivated opium even in spring season too. “The poppy has been even ready for cultivation,” he added.
The government had a strategy to control opium crop for fall season, Aziz said, adding that “I don’t know the exact production of opium but insecurity and smuggling will rise if the cultivation cannot be controlled.
Sangin, Musa Qala, Kajaki, Nawzad, Baghran, Washir and Grishak are southern districts of the province.
A driver Mohammad Nabi expressed his views about the cultivation and said that “fight has been ongoing regularly in the area. People confront shortage of water and there is no other source of living for people except poppy cultivation.”
No project had been initiated in northern districts of the province nor the residents had been assisted during the last 14 years, he complained.
Nawzad district resident Din Mohammad also confirmed second production of poppy cultivation. “People have recently started poppy cultivation,” he added.
Najmuddin, a resident of Nad-i-Ali district, said that second production took only three months and provide good quality of opium.
According to directorate of counternarcotics, poppy was cultivated over more than 103,000 hectors of land last year in Helmand province. According to officials, they had destroyed poppy over around 3,000 hectors of land.
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