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Helmand Farmers Await Poppy Harvests

While part of Helmand are witnessing war and conflict, some farmers in Grishk district of the province are just waiting to collect their poppy harvests.

Helmand Provincial Council says narcotics is one of the main income sources for Taliban from which they collect $10 million USD every year.

TOLOnews reporters Samim Faramarz and Abdullah Hamim have visited farmers in Grishk district to experience what life looks like for those who claim they have no income source except poppy cultivation.

Faramarz said in plain areas of Grishk, parts are under government control while other parts are held by the Taliban. People living in these areas cultivate poppy as their only income source.

“Government and Taliban have not told us anything about poppy cultivation. We have cultivated poppy for many years,” Abdul Samad, a farmer in Helmand, said.

Faramarz said they found families in Helmand who rely on poppy cultivation economically and their children grow up walking on poppy fields.

“There is no job here. Our children are doing nothing but cultivate poppies when they grow up,” Sayed Gul, a farmer said.

There are other farmers in the district who cultivate poppies with a bit more modern facilities and use sun energy.

“We have activated a solar system because we have been prevented from using fuel,” said Hamdullah, a farmer.

According to the farmers, they will collect the poppy harvest in the next two months. Part of the harvest will be moved to Farah and Nimroz provinces on the border with Iran.

“From this area to the areas under Taliban control, poppies are cultivated a lot. They [Taliban] take seven kilograms from every 35 kilograms of poppy harvests from farmers,” said Abdul Razaq, a farmer.

The farmers said they collect an average of 50,000 Afs from every jierb (0.2 Hectare) of poppy land and that they have to give taxes to the Taliban.

“We live between two kinds of governments. We are insulted by one and sometimes by the other. We don’t have other jobs; we have no choice but to cultivate poppy,” farmer Habib Agha said.

Helmand Farmers Await Poppy Harvests

Farmer: “We live between two kinds of governments. We are insulted by one and sometimes by the other. We don’t have other jobs.”

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While part of Helmand are witnessing war and conflict, some farmers in Grishk district of the province are just waiting to collect their poppy harvests.

Helmand Provincial Council says narcotics is one of the main income sources for Taliban from which they collect $10 million USD every year.

TOLOnews reporters Samim Faramarz and Abdullah Hamim have visited farmers in Grishk district to experience what life looks like for those who claim they have no income source except poppy cultivation.

Faramarz said in plain areas of Grishk, parts are under government control while other parts are held by the Taliban. People living in these areas cultivate poppy as their only income source.

“Government and Taliban have not told us anything about poppy cultivation. We have cultivated poppy for many years,” Abdul Samad, a farmer in Helmand, said.

Faramarz said they found families in Helmand who rely on poppy cultivation economically and their children grow up walking on poppy fields.

“There is no job here. Our children are doing nothing but cultivate poppies when they grow up,” Sayed Gul, a farmer said.

There are other farmers in the district who cultivate poppies with a bit more modern facilities and use sun energy.

“We have activated a solar system because we have been prevented from using fuel,” said Hamdullah, a farmer.

According to the farmers, they will collect the poppy harvest in the next two months. Part of the harvest will be moved to Farah and Nimroz provinces on the border with Iran.

“From this area to the areas under Taliban control, poppies are cultivated a lot. They [Taliban] take seven kilograms from every 35 kilograms of poppy harvests from farmers,” said Abdul Razaq, a farmer.

The farmers said they collect an average of 50,000 Afs from every jierb (0.2 Hectare) of poppy land and that they have to give taxes to the Taliban.

“We live between two kinds of governments. We are insulted by one and sometimes by the other. We don’t have other jobs; we have no choice but to cultivate poppy,” farmer Habib Agha said.

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