Anti-poppy drive remains superficial in past 15 years: Survey
KABUL (Pajhwok): A recent survey shows the fight against narcotics and policies in this regard have been only superficial and illusive over the past 15 years.
Financed by the European Union (EU), the survey conducted by Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) interviewed several hundred of farmers in Balkh, Helmand, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces over the past one and a half years.
The survey shows discussions held regarding policies making for elimination of narcotics production in the country remain confusing and ambiguous.
“It is not wondering that policymakers and the international community are unaware about the facts in rural areas because they cannot go of Kabul city, they even cannot go out of their residence,” the report said.
It said most of people with poor economy in rural areas grew poppy due to its multi seasonal harvests and higher income.
Paul David Fishstein, a researcher in the survey, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the aim of the survey was to find out reasons why people grew poppy and to find an alternative to the crop.
“The report mainly focuses on prospects of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and finding ways for its reduction or complete eradication,” he said.
Fishstein said agriculture had a complex system, therefore donor countries, charity organizations and the Afghan government should focus more on agriculture and help farmers identify better alternatives to poppy.
The report said a comprehensive assessment of national priority programs, diversity in cultivations and incomes collected through it, finding alternative to poppy, investment for development in rural areas, identification of activities that fuel opium production and distribution of land plots to poor famers could reduce the poppy production in the country.
The report also suggests that generating job opportunities also could play role in reduction of poppy production.
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