Non-profit helps eradicate Afghan opium crops

September 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local non-profit group helping farmers in Afghanistan was pleased to hear a United Nations report, which said there has been a significant decline in the production of poppy crops for opium for the second year in a row.

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The U.N. attributes it to the U.S. and NATO troop surge into poppy-growing areas, plus, agricultural development programs.

San Rafael-based Roots of Peace is working in 23 of 34 provinces.

"it's also helping them grow high value crops. So, for instance, if a farmer grows wheat and opium, they'll make about $800 a year. If they grow Roots of Peace crops, with the intervention and education, as provided by UC Davis and other partners working with roots of peace, they'll make $8000 a year," said Heidi Kuhn from Roots of Peace.

The Embassy of Afghanistan's political counselor said: "We welcome the important role Roots of Peace and other international aid organizations have played in helping the government of Afghanistan provide alternative development assistance to poor Afghan farmers."

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