6 provinces to gain poppy-free status next year
KABUL (Pajhwok): The level of poppy cultivation will plummet to zero next year in six provinces of the country, the counternarcotics minister said on Sunday.
Salamat Azimi named the provinces as Kabul, Kapisa, Herat, Balkh, Baghlan and Jawzjan to be declared poppy-free next year. She was addressing a press conference here.
The minister was accompanied by officials from the ministries of interior, defence and justice and the deputy governors of Kabul and Kapisa provinces.
She acknowledged the illicit plant could not be eradicated in accordance with the target set for this solar year, but efforts were underway to do away with the crop in all provinces.
She said the poppy cultivation in the six provinces would be reduced to zero next year as planned by local officials.
The minister did not provide any figures on how much land was brought under poppy cultivation this year and the current level of poppy cultivation in the six provinces.
Deputy Kabul governor Muhibullah Mehboobi told Pajhwok Afghan News that poppy crop was cultivated on 365 hectors of land in Ozbin and nearby areas of Kabul’s Sarobi district alone this year, but most of the crop had been destroyed.
“It is expected the crop will be grown in the same areas next season, but we in cooperation with the counternarcotics ministry are planning to prevent the cultivation or destroy the crop.”
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