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New VOA Documentary on Afghanistan's Drug Trade Premieres

'A Fateful Harvest' explores the industry from the growing of poppies to efforts to stop international trafficking

Washington, DC, May 14, 2008 - A Fateful Harvest, a compelling Voice of America (VOA) documentary on the effects of the drug trade on Afghanistan's people, economy and society, premiered today in a special screening at the news organization's headquarters.

The 52-minute documentary, produced by VOA's Afghanistan Service, looks at the narcotics industry through the eyes of different individuals. Filmed mostly on location in Afghanistan, A Fateful Harvest reveals the devastation wrought by opium, including the tragedy of children provided with the drug. It explores the industry from the growing of poppies to efforts to stop international trafficking.

The film - which is being televised across Afghanistan - examines how the country's struggle to establish democracy and rule of law is affected by the drug trade.

The documentary will be aired repeatedly inside Afghanistan in Dari and Pashto on Radio Television Afghanistan, a VOA affiliate as well as by satellite. Audiences in that country will also hear the story on VOA's Radio Ashna, which broadcasts on shortwave, medium-wave and FM 12 hours a day in Dari and Pashto. VOA will make the film available to all its 45 language services, and distribute it online at

The Department of State helped provide funds for the documentary.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail