More Profitable Than Poppies?
A former homeless drug abuser from Swindon is the unlikely champion of an initiative that aims to fight Afghanistan’s vast narcotics economy – with fruit juice. James Brett, 39, who once spent a year living rough before becoming a fruit juice magnate, is behind a scheme that aims to replace opium fields with pomegranate orchards.Afghanistan produces 90 per cent of the world’s opium, which generates almost all the heroin consumed by British drug addicts. The country also grows some of the world’s finest pomegranates, though many orchards have been destroyed during more than 30 years of war.
Mr Brett’s scheme will begin in March with 100,000 pomegranate saplings in the eastern province of Nangahar. He hopes eventually to plant 175,000 hectares (432,250 acres) of orchards across the country.