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Can pomegranates replace poppies (heroin) in Afghanistan?

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:39 AM
Original message
Can pomegranates replace poppies (heroin) in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan diary: Pomegranates not poppies
The fairs, because they are well guarded and removed from the heat and chaos of Kabul, attract huge crowds, mostly families looking for a safe place to walk in the open with their children. The farm also has tremendous views of the capital, so lines of concrete benches have been built to allow people to gaze at the fields and the cityscape beyond.

It is such a good idea that you might wonder why it has taken this long, more than seven years after the fall of the Taliban, for it to take off. There are no good answers. It is just one of a litany of wasted opportunities of the George Bush era. At first, the Bush administration, and Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon in particular, were dead set against anything that looked like "nation building". Later on, the lion's share of resources went to Iraq. Even when money started to flow through USAid, the CIA kept control of projects, so they could be used to support allies like the regional warlords.

Now, with the departure of the neocons, the realisation is sinking in that the Afghan war is going to be a slow grind that will be won as much in the poppy field as on the battlefield. Loren Stoddard, a USAid agricultural expert in charge of Badam Bagh said: "Poppy is a quick crop. You plant it, you it, you're done. Pomegranate is a five-year investment, but it makes more money per hectare than poppy."

Last year, 100 tonnes of pomegranates were sold to the Carrefour supermarket in Dubai. Now the French-owned chain wants Afghan pomegranates in all its Middle Eastern branches. "We're still shipping 50,000 tonnes of pomegranates out of places like Kandahar despite everything else, so it's sort of like the business that won't quit," Stoddard says. "if we can just give it a break; if we can help the police not to take so many tolls on the road, get electricity out to the farmers so they can keep things cold, it will get better."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/mar/02/afghani...

Pomegranates could kill off Afghanistans opium trade
Feb 12 2009
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/02/12... /

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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:44 AM
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1. I would love to buy Pomegranate juice, but it's toooooo expensive.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:55 AM
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2. once saw a tv show that said the taliban destroyed most orchards in afghanistan nt
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:55 AM
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3. or saffron
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/0...

(03-01) 04:00 PST Herat, Afghanistan --

Haji Abdul Ghayoum squats over a plant that pushes a magnificent rainbow of color up from cracked soil. The 42-year-old farmer runs his weathered hands through the green leaves and purple petals. Next, he fingers the red stigmas - thread-like filaments that are changing this part of the world.

In an effort to eradicate opium production, the Afghan government, international aid groups and private businesses are distributing saffron crocus bulbs to farmers in this region along the Iran border. The farmers say their new crop is better suited to their religious beliefs (Islam prohibits the use and sale of illicit drugs) and, ultimately, is more profitable.

Worldwide demand for Afghan saffron is rising, and the price has doubled in the past year to an average of $1,360 per pound - or roughly 38 times what poppy farmers in the southern part of the country earn.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Doubling of prices is a heck of an incentive
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Itchinjim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:56 AM
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4. Pomegranates aren't nearly as profitable to the CIA and the Bushes as heroin,
so I wouldn't expect a change of crops anytime soon.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. Have You Ever Tried To Snort Pomegranates ???


It's a bitch, man.

:evilgrin:
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Sultana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. WUT?
that pic :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:17 PM
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8. Re Afghan opium
The US spends more on "eradication" than the whole crop is worth.
Why not just buy the entire raw opium production and use it for legitimate medical purposes?


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GardeningGal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. Error: you've already recommended that thread. nt
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:47 PM
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10. In the short term, no. It will take years before new trees start
producing fruit. Might as well replant native apple trees too.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:51 PM
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11. "I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates."
O8)
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