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World|life|March 31, 2023 / 12:12 PM
Taliban start opium poppy eradication campaign in western Afghanistan

AKIPRESS.COM - The local officials, appointed by the Taliban in Herat province, started a campaign to destroy poppy fields, TOLONews reported.

The campaign begins at a time when poppy fields' harvest season is approaching.

"Our operation is underway and hundreds of acres of land have been cleared of poppy in different districts," head of the counter narcotics department of Herat Hayatullah Rouhani said.

It is noted that the employees of the drug control department are accompanied by special forces of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, farmers called on the government to help them by providing alternative crops for poppy cultivation.

Besides Herat, the campaign is being conducted in Ghor, Badghis, Nimroz and Farah provinces. It is expected that poppy fields in the west of the country will be destroyed ahead of the harvest season.

The Taliban declared their intention to fight opium poppy cultivation and the spread of opium almost from the very beginning of the seizure of power in Afghanistan in August 2021. Last April, a radical movement officially banned the cultivation of opium poppy throughout Afghanistan. Such an order was issued by the supreme leader of the movement Haibatulla Akhundzada.

However, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported at the end of 2022 that under the Taliban, opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan increased by 32% and amounted to 233,000 hectares. The main areas under crops, according to the department, are concentrated in the southwestern regions of Afghanistan. They account for 73% of the total area of opium poppy cultivation, where the largest increase in yield was observed.

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