facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

FAO courting Afghans away from opium

Nov. 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM   |   Comments

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said farmers in the north of Afghanistan are turning to licit crops as an alternative to opium cultivation.

FAO said it's been working in the northern provinces of Afghanistan to supply farmers with fertilizer and seeds to use as an alternative to opium since 2008.

"Since the improved seed project was launched in the northeastern provinces, the harvest has increased to about seven metric tons per hectare of land from about just one metric ton with regular seeds," FAO regional director Muhammad Jawad Azami said in a statement.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported last week opium cultivation in Afghanistan increased 36 percent in 2013. UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedetov said the record-level of production was a sobering reminder of Afghanistan's national challenges.

"Counter-narcotics efforts must be an integral part of the security, development and institution-building agenda," he said in a statement.

The FAO says nearly half of Afghanistan's 35 provinces are free of opium farms.

Last year, Afghanistan reportedly accounted for 74 percent of the world's total opium, a heroin precursor.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Man who spent 24 years in prison for arson murder freed
2
Jodi Arias granted delay in death penalty retrial
3
Kamala Harris to appeal court ruling against death penalty
4
Heather Mack, mother, argued in lobby before suitcase murder
5
Mudslides hit area in Washington State charred by wildfires
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback