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Indybay Feature
Fri Oct 1 2004
Occupied Afghanistan Turns To Opium To Survive
Opium Production In Afghanistan
10/1/2004 According to the Los Angeles Times Afganistan's "opium poppy crop this year is set to break all records, surging past the peak levels reported under the Taliban". Officials in the US State Department warn that there are record levels of poppy cultivation in areas not previously used for this purpose.
With increased warlordism and a collapsed economy, many Afghans find growing opium one of the few ways to support themselves. "The yields farmers can make on opium compared with wheat or rice are stratospheric. There is little incentive to grow anything else as law enforcement is poor and hundreds of senior officials are allegedly involved in the multi-billion-dollar drug business themselves.... farmers stand to make only 5,000 Afghanis (35 dollars) from planting half an acre with wheat or rice, but 10 times that amount for harvesting opium."
The role of US forces in Afghan's drug trade is unclear. Many of the warlords the US is working with to fight the Taliban are among the country's largest opium producers. Vladimir Putin has accused the US and NATO of looking the other way as occupied Afghanistan floods Europe with over 70% of the world's opium.
Opium production spreading in Afghanistan | Disinfopedia | The Politics Of Afghan Opium
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