Replacing Afghan Poppies with Pomegranates

Replacing Afghan Poppies with Pomegranates

Food & Drink

Replacing Afghan Poppies with Pomegranates


By Cari Martens

An ambitious project initiated by James Brett, founder of Pomegreat, the UK’s leading brand of pomegranate juice, seeks to replace poppy plantations in war-torn Afghanistan with pomegranate orchards.

If successful, the program could wipe out much of the world’s opium production; about 90 percent is currently sourced from the Afghan poppy crop.

Known as POM354, the program received a major boost recently when UK retailer Waitrose began stocking a pomegranate drink called Alibi, a UK start-up that became the first company to sign on with the program.

Alibi is a canned beverage that calls itself “the world’s first and only detox drink.” It’s a blend of fruit juice, herbal extracts and amino acids. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Alibi goes to POM354, which also has the support of the fledgling Afghan government.

Quoted in an article appearing “”:, Brett said ‘This project has the potential to put a serious dent in the global heroin trade and is an economically viable source of a fruit whose popularity is surging.’

Currently there are about 40,000 pomegranate trees planted, but half a million more trees are scheduled to be planted in provinces throughout Afghanistan by the end of next year.

According to U.N. and Afghan government figures, farmers can earn more than twice the amount per acre growing pomegranates as they can with poppies.

For more insights and innovations check out, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.

Have you seen an innovative product that will make our food lives more fun in the future? Let us know at Editor.


20 Sep 22

If you haven’t had pumpkin soup, you are missing a delightful dining experience. This savory soup is ideal for one of those first (…)

28 Aug 22

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette of Little Donkey in Cambridge, Massachusetts, add miso to their addictive banana bread to give it a (…)

More TFC