Alternative Agricultural Fantasy for Afghanistan

Love | Peace The first paragraph of TIME magazine’s article Afghan Poppy Farms: Little Take-Up for Alternative Crops is so seductive to a romantic like myself. When thinking of Afghanistan, agricultural production focused on 142 varieties of apricots, pomegranates, and almonds doesn’t enter our minds.

We think of poppies as the stable, fundamentally decadent and destructive cash-crop lifeline of the Afghan economy. Yes there’s a plague on poppies this year, unleashing worries about the US being blamed for destroying the crop by the Taliban.

What sounds like a simple idea of returning Afghanistan to producing fruit crops — all paying much higher prices than poppies — is soon dashed in the midst of both Afghan and US bureaucracies. The very interesting piece reads like a litany of what can’t be done in Afghanistan, and how the USAID doesn’t have a constant agricultural policy either for the country.

Seduced by delicious visions of a better Afghan agricultural policy, our hopes are dashed. Imagine if we were the people of Afghanistan.  Read on at TIME