Afghanistan: Drugs

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 3rd March 2009.

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Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made towards the eradication of poppy growing in Afghanistan.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Afghan Government's poppy eradication campaign was launched on 5 February 2008 in Helmand province through the deployment of the poppy eradication force, followed by Governor-led eradication, which started on 15 February 2008.

So far 2,000 hectares of poppy has been destroyed, which represents good progress.

Eradication forms a key pillar of the Helmand food zone programme, led by Governor Mangal, whereby farmers have been informed that poppy grown within this area should be eradicated. Governor-led eradication efforts have commenced elsewhere and will continue until July 2009. However it is too early to predict what the final national eradication figure will be.

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