India’s experiences in licensing poppy cultivation for the production of essential medicines
Lessons for Afghanistan by Romesh Bhattacharji, former narcotics commissioner of India
Important lessons from the experiences of Indian farmers, administrators and security
experts could inform the implementation of a Poppy for Medicine project in Afghanistan.
The role played by the Indian farming villages, and in particular the role played by the
village headman, in controlling poppy cultivation and limiting diversion in licensed
poppy cultivation projects has empowered a variety of stakeholders. This lesson is
particularly relevant with regards to the social control hierarchies present in Afghan rural
Full report (220 kb, pdf)
Opium poppy licensing in Turkey: A model to solve Afghanistan’s illegal opium economy?
Jorrit Kamminga, ICOS
This report analyses the Turkish opium licensing system as a way to illustrate the „normality‟ of such an industry. The latter function is important for the current debate on using similar systems in other countries. In Afghanistan, for example, the opium poppy is still solely associated with illegal drug consumption, drug trafficking, crime and insurgency. On the contrary, in Turkey, opium poppies are regarded as both traditional medicine and an essential part of a rich cooking tradition. As such, the poppy licensing industry in Turkey should be regarded less a direct example of how to implement a similar model in Afghanistan, but more as an illustration of an alternative, non-politicised way of looking at the opium poppy plant and its potential benefits for Afghanistan.
Full report (pdf)