Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Standing in a field of roses in eastern Afghanistan, former poppy grower Mohammad Din Sapai quickly but carefully plucks the delicate petals that will be turned into rose water and oils for sale around the world.Sapai is one of more than 800 farmers in the province bordering Pakistan benefiting from the "Roses for Nangarhar" project, a joint Afghan-German initiative set up in 2007 to encourage poppy growers to switch to a legal, moneymaking flower.Opium is big business in Afghanistan, where Nangarhar is the sixth biggest poppy-producing province. Poppy cultivation hit a new record last year, with opium production soaring 87 percent to an estimated 9,000 tons, official figures show. But Sapai said he is perfectly happy to grow roses.After the rose season, which ends in May, he switches to growing vegetables.Rose trees are also more durable, lasting 30 to 50 years, compared with poppies, which must be planted every season.Shortly before the "Roses for Nangarhar" project started, Afghan entrepreneur Abdullah Orzala began growing roses and distributing the plants.
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE