Afghanistan Seeing Bumper Crop in Opium

|
News,World,Afghanistan,War on Drugs,Opium

A bumper crop of opium in Afghanistan represents one of the most tangible and visible failures of US policy in the war-torn country, as the U.S.-led military force prepares for withdrawal by the end of this year.

(May 1)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP Clients Only

Helmand Province - April 2014

1. Close of farmer putting opium in pouch

2. Farmer carrying pouch of opium

3. Various of farmers in poppy field

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Undated File of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

4. Wide of U.S. Soldiers

5. Wide of military helicopter

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Lashkar Gar, Helmand Province - Afghanistan - April 21, 2014

6. SOUNDBITE: (Pashtun) Mohammad Naeem, Governor of Helmand Province (Translated and transcribed below)

7. Various of farmers harvesting opium

8. AP Graphic "Opium in Afghanistan"

AP Television - AP clients Only

Kabul, Afghanistan - April 28, 2014

9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ashita Mittal, U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime (Transcribed Below)

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Khogyani, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan - April 17, 2014

10. Various of farmers harvesting opium

AP Television - AP Clients Only

No Location / No Date

11. Various file shots of U.S. troops in Afghan theater of war

AP Television - AP Clients Only

Khogyani, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan - April 17, 2014

12. Various of poppies in field

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

THE STICKY SUBSTANCE YOU SEE IS RAW OPIUM.....the main ingredient in heroin -STRAIGHT FROM THE FIELDS OF AFGHANISTAN.

A BUMPER CROP IS CURRENTLY BEING HARVESTED IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY THIS YEAR....A SIGN THAT U.S. ERADICATION EFFORTS ARE NO LONGER WORKING.

THE REBOUND IS HAPPENING AS U.S. TROOPS ARE DUE TO DEPART BY THE END OF THE YEAR.

SOUNDBITE: (Pashtun) Mohammad Naeem, Governor of Helmand Province

(TRANSLATOR) "the way I see it, the strategy by the ministry of counter narcotics..and our foreign friends has not been successful....and that is why the cultivation has increased ....And it has increased more in deserted areas."

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, OPIUM PRODUCTION WAS FALLING AS THE U.S. MILITARY SOUGHT TO CUT OFF THE ILLICIT TRADE AS A SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION....AND THE TALIBAN.

AND OFFICIALS SAY IT CONTINUED TO DROP...BEFORE TICKING UP IN 2012.

ACCORDING TO THE U.N OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME...., THE AMOUNT OF LAND USED TO GROW POPPIES IN AFGHANISTAN JUMPED BY MORE THAN 35 PERCENT A YEAR AGO.

THE HARVEST THIS YEAR IS EXPECTED TO MATCH....OR EVEN EXCEED..... LAST YEAR'S LEVELS.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ashita Mittal, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime acting director for Afghanistan:

"Right now if you see in the south, west and the eastern region, there is still some eradication that has taken place, but it is much less than previous years."

AS A SHARE OF AFGHANISTAN'S ECONOMY....THE U.N. THINKS THAT OPIUM IS LIKELY TO GROW LARGER....A TROUBLING SIGN OFFICIALS SAY......AS MONEY FROM U.S. MILITARY CONTRACTS....AS WELL AS INTERNATIONAL AID WORK....GOES DOWN.

NED BARKER...ASSOCIATE PRESS.

View article comments Leave a comment