Myanmar Opium Farmers’ Forum report published
Mizzima - The report stresses that farmers grow opium to ensure food security for their families and to provide for basic needs, and to have access to health and education.
"The main reason people grow opium is poverty. Therefore, opium farmers should not be treated as criminals. They should be involved in decision-making processes about drug policies and development programmes that are affecting their lives," said Tom Kramer, the coordinator of TNI's Drugs Democracy Programme in Myanmar.
On some areas, poppy farmers face the risk of eradication of their poppy fields. "In the absence of sustainable alternative income sources, eradication of smallholder farmers constitutes a violation of their right to be free from hunger and live a life in dignity", said Martin Jelsma, TNI's programme director.