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Poppy eradication drive kick-starts in Helmand

Poppy eradication drive kick-starts in Helmand

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Mar 11, 2012 - 18:54

LASHKARGAH (PANinfo-icon): A fresh poppy eradication campaign was launched on Sunday in southern Helmand province, the worldinfo-icon’s largest opium producing region, the governor’s office said.

The drive targeting 10 districts was launched by Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal in the Trihk Nawar area of Marja district, where the illicit crop had been grown.

Accompanied by several government officials, Mangal said around 2,000 hectares of poppy farms would be eradicated during the campaign that is jointly spearheaded by Afghan and foreign forces.

He said the current campaign differed from the previous ones, as this time growers would face stern legal action.

The governor, citing an international survey, said poppy cultivation reduced by 45 percent over the past four years in the province as a result of counter narcotics efforts by the provincial administration.
“We are trying to further reduce the percentage of poppy production and eventually end the cultivation of this banned plant in Helmand,” Mangal said.

Nearly 250 acres of land was cleared of poppy crops on the first day of the three-day eradication campaign.

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