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Samangan loses decade-old poppy-free status

Samangan loses decade-old poppy-free status

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On
Jul 18, 2017 - 23:15

AIBAK (Pajhwok):  About 2,000 hectares of land has been cultivated with poppy crop in two districts of northern Samangan province this season, ending a decade long poppy free status of the province.

Haji Raz Mohammad, Smangan provincial council deputy head, told a ceremony marking ‘National Mobilization Week for Combating Narcotics’ that Samangan had been a poppy free province for nearly 10 years but this year the crop was grown on 2,000 hectares of land in Dara-i-Sauf Paeen and Doab districts.

Linking the increase in poppy cultivation to unemployment, poverty and insecurity, he said people were concerned about the situation.

 “If the government doesn’t ensure security in all parts of the province, doesn’t create job opportunities for youth, and doesn’t find alternative to poppy, no doubt the crop cultivation will further increase in the province.”

Governor Abdul Kareem Khida also spoke on the occasion, saying the fight against narcotics wasn’t a government duty alone, but a shared responsibility of all groups of society.

The increase in poppy growth comes despite billions of dollars investment in the fight against drugs in Afghanistan since 2001.

A Pajhwok report shows drugs cultivation in Afghanistan increased by 25 percent compared to 2001 and most of the drugs cultivated in 2014, 2013, and 2016 years. According to reports, currently about 3.6 million population of Afghanistan is addicted to drugs.

sns/ma

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