At least 35 people, mostly farmers, were arrested in Uruzgan on charges of poppy cultivation on their farmlands.
Uruzgan security officials said that a market used for selling drugs in the province was also closed.
“If poppy is cultivated in the province that may be so less. We arrested those who cultivated poppy and put them in prison and destroyed the poppy fields,” said Amin, the deputy head of police headquarters in Uruzgan.
Farmers said avoiding poppy cultivation will not be possible if an alternative is not provided for them.
“There is no benefit in wheat cultivation; therefore, people are cultivating poppy on their farmlands,” said Tor Khan, a farmer.
“The government should train us about wheat cultivation. They said that saffron is a good option. They need to provide us training on its cultivation,” said Saifullah, a farmer.
Analysts said that considering the poor economic situation of the people, it is necessary for the current government to cooperate with farmers in providing them with an alternative for poppy cultivation.
“The alternative for farmers is saffron and cattle farming as well as greenhouses,” said Abdul Shakur Karimi, a university lecturer.
It is said that Helmand and Uruzgan are the two provinces where poppy is cultivated by a number of farmers.