Marijuana farming and smuggling have flourished in remote villages of Makawanpur district due to the failure of the authorities to come up with effective measures to prevent local villagers from indulging in cultivation of the illegal crop.
Villagers are found cultivating marijuana in remote parts of Bharta VDC, lured by easy money they could make for growing the crop that hardly need any tending. They also do not have trouble finding buyers since the members of marijuana smuggling racket are themselves found contracting these farmers to plant the crop.
“I grew marijuana because a local smuggler provided me Rs 50,000 in advance this time,” said one farmer, adding that several people in the village are involved in marijuana cultivation. Many of these farmers are earthquake victims and for them selling marijuana is the easiest way to earn money.
Many villagers at Kankada VDC are also preparing for marijuana plantation these days. They said this was their first time ever cultivating the outlawed crop, because
they were offered up to Rs 60,000 by the smugglers. “We agreed to plant marijuana because it is more profitable,” one villager said.
One villager said with no proper road access to take the vegetables and cash crops to the market many villagers like himself have taken to marijuana farming.
With marijuana, he said, the villagers do not have to worry about finding market for our produce. “The market comes to us and we don’t have to go anywhere,” he said.
Several VDCs in Makwanpur, including Namtar, Kalikatar, Gogane, Dandakharka, Kakada, Khairang, Bharta and Sarikhet, are known for growing marijuana for commercial purpose.