Kimya lives in Dawlatabad village of Darayim district in Badakhshan province, with her husband and three children. 

“My husband, like other men in our village, used to grow poppy seed every year. If the people in my village had access to alternatives then they would never cultivate poppy but for the farmers here, the cultivation of poppy is the best option as we can get the seed for free from other farmers, it requires minimal resources to grow and we have plenty of rain-fed land available.

Several members of my family have been either arrested or killed in poppy production or trafficking over the years. My children and I had to help with the weeding and thinning of my husband’s crops, which meant that our children could not attend school and two of our daughters are now married without having received any education at all.

Fortunately, earlier this year Afghanaid provided people in my village with access to improved alternative seed varieties, tools and fertiliser, as well as training in cultivation of alternative crops and awareness raising classes about the disadvantages of the poppy industry.

Afghanaid helped my family to establish a walnut orchard instead. I have also been able to use the orchard to cultivate wheat seed provided by Afghanaid and next year I plan to grow some beans in there too. Now, we have been able to re-enrol our two younger daughters and youngest son back in school so they can finish their education! We have signed a contract to not grow any more poppy and my husband is determined to expand our new orchard further. I hope that one day poppy cultivation will stop completely as it leads to real disasters in people's lives.”

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