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Farmers demand compensation for their khat plants BOGOR, WEST JAVA - Farmers in Cisarua, in the mountain resort of Puncak, Bogor, said they would destroy their chata edulis plants,locally known as khat, which is illegal in the country, if the government provide them a compensation.

Chata edulis is a narcotic plant grown by local farmers to be sold as a medicine and tonic. A local farmer Nanang said the farmers did not ask for money but they want compensation in seeds of food crop to be grown in their lands.

"We bought the seeds of Khat and planted them not aware that the plant was narcotic," Nanang said, adding many local farmers have made a living from growing and selling khat.

The plant has been growing in demand especially from Middle east tourists who consumed the plant as a dish of raw vegetable and as a spicy sauce against cholesterol , diabetes and diarrhea. It is also known to strengthen men sexually, Nanang said.

He said the plant was first introduced in the area by a tourist from Yemen in 2005 and the local farmer began to grow it when many tourists from Middle East came top Puncak looking for the plant. He said the plant is grown in 55 separate locations in Puncak totaling 3 hectares.

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) only recently officially announced that the plant is illegal after police found it contains cathinone, a first category narcotics according to an Indonesian law.

"Based on the result of a laboratory test the plant is included among the group of illegal plants according the Law No. 35," BNN spokesman Sr. Comr Sumirat Dwiyanto said. Sumirat said people who have grown the plant are expected to stop growing or selling it. Violation of the regulation is liable to be punished as criminals, he said.

When asked about compensation demanded by the Cisarua farmers, he said he would discussed that matter with BNN leaders. "Compensation is considered . One thing is certain that the compensation will be in seeds of food crop that the farmers could continue to live from their farms," he said.


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Posted in Oddly enough ... @ 07 February 2013 18:09 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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