Poppy Cultivation Sees A Surge In Afghanistan Under Taliban

The cultivation of poppy for opium production has surged in Afghanistan’s Helmand and Kandahar provinces in 2022 as compared to last year, local media reported citing farmers.

“There is nothing else to cultivate. We were growing wheat before. This year–we want to cultivate poppy. Previously they were asking for bribes every day but we don’t have that problem this year,” a farmer said, according to Tolo News. As per the media outlet, opium and other drugs are being sold in open markets in the southern provinces.

The two provinces of Kandahar and Helmand have been recognized as one of the top poppy producers, Tolo News reported.

Mohammad Kareem is a farmer who has been growing poppy for the past 15 years. Kareem is expecting his harvest to be ready within the next month.

“If we don’t cultivate poppy, we don’t get a good return, the wheat doesn’t provide a good income,” he said. “There are no restrictions this year. If the Taliban want to ban it, they must let us grow it this year at least,” said Peer Mohammad, a farmer.

Multiple reports indicate that poppy cultivation and drug trafficking provide a big income source for the Taliban, mainly in the southern and northern parts of the country. Most of the drug smuggling goes through Iran and the Taliban make a big money from it.

Afghanistan has been among the world’s top illicit drug-producing countries. There are scores of drug addicts currently on the streets.

Taliban so far have a crackdown on small drug dealers but big dealers have been largely given a free pass. (ANI)

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