The Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counternarcotics and the US Embassy in Kabul signed a memorandum on Saturday to jointly fight the menace of poppy cultivation in the country.
Din Muhammad Mubariz, the minister for counternarcotics in a joint press conference with his interlocutor, announced that a province with good track record against poppy cultivation would be given one million dollars reward. He pledged active campaign would be launched to discourage poppy cultivation and create awareness about counternarcotics among citizens.
According to the deal, a sum of 16 million $ would go to 17 poppy-free provinces.
“The money will go to poor farmers to improve their lives and help them overcome shortages of water and other problems,” he added.
He recalled that 15 provinces during last year, including Bamyan, Ghazni, Jawzjan, Khost, Kunduz, Logar, Nuristan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjsher, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul, Takhar, and Maidan Wardak, had ensured no poppy was cultivated there, hence earned the reward.
Daniel Foote, US consular for economic affairs, said that over one million drug addicted persons were living in Afghanistan. He stressed joint efforts to fight against the threat posed by poppy cultivation. He noted that the US had spent around 148 million dollars since 2007 to fight the menace in Afghanistan.