Feinstein urges support of new crops in Afghanistan
February 08, 2012 | 04:39 PM
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. on Tuesday urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to support the Afghan government’s plan to replace poppy cultivation with other sustainable crops.
In a letter to Clinton, Feinstein wrote:
“The drug problem in Afghanistan cannot be ignored, because it is now a major source of funding for the Taliban. Programs like the Helmand Food Zone are essential, because their success can ultimately help to cut off financing to the Taliban. Poppy cultivation and opium production provide the Taliban with a massive source of revenue.”
In 2010, Afghanistan produced 74 percent of the world’s illegal opiate supply through the cultivation of poppy, Feinstein said.