Based on a realistic analysis of the economic benefits of the illegal opium trade,
village-based Poppy for Medicine
projects are economic development-orientated
counter-narcotics initiatives designed to help Afghan farming communities to end
their reliance on illegal poppy cultivation. In doing so, Poppy for Medicine
would help win back the hearts and minds of rural Afghan communities, thereby
complementing the international community’s stabilisation efforts in the country.
As the name suggests, the local production of poppy-based medicines lies at the heart
of the projects. The guiding concept of village-based Poppy for Medicine
that the profits on sales of these locally-produced, globally sought-after medicines
would provide the economic, social, and structural means to end rural Afghan
communities’ reliance on illegal poppy cultivation, and in doing so, provide the
incentives necessary to trigger these communities’ committed participation in
countering illegal poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.
Projects secured through integration of existing security and control institutions
Village-based Poppy for Medicine
projects are akin to an alternative counter-narcotics
strategy that has been successfully implemented in many other countries. It involves
licensing the controlled cultivation of poppy to produce essential poppy-based
medicines such as morphine; whilst unlicensed poppy cultivation remains illegal. The
most important issue to address in implementing poppy licensing systems is attaining
and maintaining high levels of control over the licensed cultivation of poppy.
To meet the international and domestic legal requirements regarding the production of poppy-based
medicines, and in response to the current security situation and the growing
pervasiveness of drug trafficking in Afghanistan, The Senlis Council has developed
an Integrated Control System
to secure and control village-based Poppy for Medicine
projects. By monitoring, policing, and regulating every aspect
of a Poppy for Medicine
project, the Integrated Control System
would make possible the smooth,
secure manufacture of medicines in Afghanistan. In addition, the Integrated Control
System provides for the application of appropriate penalties if necessary.