Drug Cultivation in Afghanistan,
First, let me explain a little bit about the history of drug cultivation in Afghanistan. When the Taliban government started in Afghanistan in 1996, the Taliban banned all types of drug cultivation, and those who refused from this rule were arrested and kept in jail until they also accepted not to cultivate drugs anymore. This rule of Taliban was quiet good to avoid drug dealing and addiction however it created a big problem which is poverty. In 2001, when the Taliban government was failed, this gave all farmers a good opportunity to restart cultivating drugs in their fields. In fact, this was not their choice to cultivate drugs, but it was poverty which brought them into this point. You might think why didn’t they cultivate any vegetables or fruits? The reasons were because of poverty, becoming aware of the high price of opium in the border areas, and mainly they passed 10 years of drought. No water, no awareness, and no crops, so they finally had one way to cope with this situation and that was cultivating drugs.
This situation has continued till now and unfortunately now Afghanistan produces approximately 90% opium of the entire world. Within the two main illegal opium producing areas of Asia, the Golden Triangle which consists of Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam; and the Golden Crescent which consists of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, Afghanistan is the largest illegal producer of opium and is ahead of all these countries. The main problem of this drug cultivation is illicit acts. It means that all drugs are being cultivated illegally, so that can create a huge problem. If the government doesn’t take this issue seriously, there will occur lots of problems such as, government economy will fall down, addiction will increase rapidly, youth generation will be destroyed and most importantly poverty will increase plus the country will remain back warded.
In order to reduce drug cultivation, the government has been working on two solutions. One was that the government banned drug cultivation as the Taliban had done before, however this caused more problems because as all the farmers are poor, they will never accept this solution without having at least one advantage of that, and instead they had to lose their highly price crops (opium), so this solution made them become against the government and even cultivate secretly. Another solution was arresting and spoiling all drug dealers in the border areas, but was also not so useful because still the government cannot keep the security due to the shortage of army so how can it arrest all the drug dealers. If we don’t stop drug cultivation first, drug dealing will never be omitted.
As I searched about this problem, I have found a better solution that can surely work. That is, now days Afghanistan is a developing country, and lots of foreign countries are helping financially, economically and educationally. As a result, Afghanistan annually earns Millions of dollars as foreign aid, if the government takes out one part of this aid and spends it on farmers that will have a great success. Three major things must be done with this money.
First, the government should give small, but long-term loans to each farmer, that can persuade them from cultivating drugs and instead they can buy alternative crops with that money.
Second, if the farmers cultivate crops and finally harvest them, they will have another problem that is the way distance from fields to the real market, so the government should buy special, agricultural vehicles to help them transform their crops to the markets on time, therefore, the taste and freshness of the crops will not be lost due to keeping them for a long time or due to the long distance.
Third, the government should provide some free, useful workshops to educate farmers about different techniques of farming, agriculture and cultivation, because most of the farmers in Afghanistan are illiterate, therefore they will be really interested and enthusiastic to get knowledge in their field.
Finally if the government takes these steps solidly, I am sure that farmers will stop cultivating drugs without even being forced not to do and that will bring a successful future not only for Afghanistan but also to the world.
Please, feel free to leave comments in here, I would appreciate that. This was a problem-solution speech that I had to give in my class, then I thought I can share this also with you, so I shared it. I hope you like it and I think my solution is not so perfect but it can possibly be effective. If you have any idea about this, please share that with us.