Pubdate: Tue, 04 Jan 2005
Source: News & Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2005 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Richard J. Homovec


A Dec. 5 article reported that poppy fields are being sprayed with a toxic 
chemical in Afghanistan. Here is the democratic alternative: the fledgling 
democracy could create poppy quotas.

Then, poppy buyout legislation can be modeled after the U.S. tobacco buyout 
program. The warlords and governors who control production are granted a 
one-time tax break if they invest in the community and halt production. 
(They may even be encouraged to start a university.) The Afghan Department 
of Education trains unemployed farmers. Graduates are connected to the 
Internet to run help desks. The Afghan Department of Commerce starts a Rugs 
are Better than Drugs campaign to develop new markets.

Richard J. Homovec

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