AFGHANISTAN

OIC welcomes IEA’s decision to ban poppy cultivation, says farmers need an alternative

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has welcomed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) decision to ban poppy cultivation in the country but has in turn called on the international community to continue offering alternative crops to poppy farmers.
The IEA’s Supreme Leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzadah issued a decree earlier this week banning the cultivation of poppies and any other intoxicants throughout Afghanistan, saying that “after this, no one can cultivate poppy in this country.”
The IEA leader added that farmers who defy the new ruling will be dealt with in accordance with Islamic law.
Officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) office in Kabul meanwhile said late Monday that providing alternatives to farmers and ensuring addicts get access to treatment facilities needs to be a key component of the international community’s plan to help Afghanistan.
Hissein Ibrahim Taha, the organization’s secretary-general, said that banning poppy cultivation was one of the IEA government’s commitments to effectively curb drug production in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Ian McCary, US Chargé d’Affaires for Afghanistan, called the ban on poppy cultivation by the IEA a “first step” and called for the order to be implemented.
McCary said on twitter: “Outlawing the production of narcotics in Afghanistan is a positive first step but enforcement will be key. Having a healthy and licit agricultural sector will help Afghanistan’s economy and ultimately the Afghan people.”
Since the IEA regained power in Afghanistan in mid-August last year, curbing narcotics cultivation and trafficking has been a key demand by the international community.

At the same time, however, as the IEA leader issued a decree banning poppy cultivation, sources in Helmand province told VOA that drug prices had tripled in the province.
Some drug dealers in Helmand told VOA that 7Kg of opium is currently being sold for 200,000 Pakistani rupees, up from 85,000 Pakistani rupees a few months ago.The post OIC welcomes IEA’s decision to ban poppy cultivation, says farmers need an alternative first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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