HC Deb 25 November 1999 vol 339 c175W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made by her Department in implementing alternative development in drug-producing regions of drug-producing countries. [99249]

Clare Short

Our Strategy for alternative development drug producing areas is set out in "Illicit Drugs and the Development Assistance Programme", a copy of which is in the Library. My Department is currently funding alternative development in the lower Huallaga valley in Peru and in the Chapare region of Bolivia through the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). We have also been funding a project in the Dir district of Pakistan.

There have been substantial reductions of coca in the Chapare region during 1998 and farm plans for agricultural diversification and soil conservation have been developed with farmers and are now being implemented. The project also involves several micro-projects, including strengthening women's groups and providing micro-credit to help the women produce flowers, vegetables and honey. Work in the Lower Huallaga valley is still in the early planning stages. The opium poppy has been virtually eliminated in the Dir district, partly through the introduction of alternative crops and development infrastructure.

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