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Afghan Government Warns Poppy Farmers

2 November 2004 -- A top Afghan government official asked farmers today to destroy their poppy fields and said there would be no compensation for the crop.

Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali said farmers may not cultivate poppy this year. He said security forces have been told to inform farmers that drug cultivation is an offense against Islam.

Since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001, Afghanistan is again the world's largest producer of opium, the base ingredient of heroin.

So far all attempts to contain the cultivation of poppy have failed.