01 Dec “Let Them Eat Promises” — Closing the Opium Poppy Fields in Balkh and its Consequences
Posted at 06:50h in UncategorizedBack
|Theme||Natural Resource Management|
|Date of Publication||December 01, 2008|
International agencies have claimed that incentives and improvements in security and governance preceded and led to the end of opium cultivation in Balkh Province in 2007. Afghan officials offer a different interpretation of events, effectively admitting that the closure was due to coercion. The field evidence presented in this report does not support claims that farmers’ decisions to stop cultivating opium poppy stemmed from the provision of incentives or development—nor does it find evidence of improved governance or security. If anything, conditions are worse. The sudden closure of opium poppy cultivation in Balkh has prompted a decline in livelihood security for many rural households.