2007 Finalist Projects

TOP OF THE CROPS

Arghand - AFGHANISTAN

Despite the efforts of American and British forces to put the squeeze on Afghan opium production, the country remains by far the world’s largest source of heroin. Arghand Inc is approaching the problem from a different angle. By creating a market for crops such as almonds, apricots, pistachios and liquorice root, the company reduces opium production without depriving farmers of an income. The exotic crops are used in the manufacture of high-end soaps and skin-care products for the export market. These products might not have quite the same street-value as heroin, but because Arghand operates on a fair trade basis, its farmers end up with more cash than they’d get from growing opium. Arghand was set up in 2005 by journalist Sarah Chayes, whose first-hand experience of Southern Afghanistan inspired her to strike at the chains of poverty and violence that bind the region to the opium poppy.

For further information click here: http://www.arghand.org/

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