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In poppy-free Paktia, growers deprived of assistance

In poppy-free Paktia, growers deprived of assistance

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Jul 08, 2018 - 15:16

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Poppy cultivation in southeastern Paktia province has been brought down to zero but farmers remain deprived of necessary assistance, an official said on Sunday.

Counternarcotics Department officials say poppy cultivation the level of poppy cultivation has been zero in Paktia for the past 20 years. However, growers have not received any assistance so far.

Counternarcotics Director Hafeezullah Ahmadzai complains Paktia and its farmers have been denied appreciation. His department fears the farmers may return to growing the illicit crop.

Ahmadzai made the remarks at a gathering marking Counternarcotics Day and inauguration of a new building for his department. The project has been completed at a cost of more than 12 million afghanis.

He demanded growers should be provided with assistance to help them boost their agricultural produce, increase crop yield, saffron cultivation support and other incentives.

Some work had been done such as construction of culverts, distribution of refined saffron and onion seeds and tractors, he recalled. Nut more assistance was needed to promote agricultureinfo-icon, he added.

Deputy Governor Abdul Wali Sahi also criticised non-delivery of assistance to the farmers shunning poppy cultivation. He demanded practical steps be taken in this regard.

He also hit out at the Counternarcotics Department for being unable to curb the cultivation of the illicit crop in the backward province.

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