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Poppy cultivation continues in Afghanistan despite Taliban’s crackdown on drug trade

The Taliban had vowed to launch a crackdown on the country’s drug trade and asked farmers not to cultivate opium – a major source of income for Afghans.

Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has a long history of opium poppy cultivation. As of 2021, Afghanistan’s harvest produces more than 90 per cent of illicit heroin globally.

Recently, some big consignments of heroin were seized in India and it was revealed in the investigation that the supply route was Afghanistan.

Farmers in Northern Afghanistan prefer poppy cultivation as they get four times more returns from production as compared to other crops. Besides, the unrest in Afghanistan has prompted illegal cultivation and harvest of opium in the country.

The Taliban recently imposed a ban on the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan. However, thousands of hectares of agricultural land is still under poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

Talking to India Today, a farmer said that, due to many folded returns, farmers prefer opium poppy cultivation.

” The Taliban has banned poppy cultivation in Afghanistan but those who had already started were allowed to harvest. But they won’t be allowed to do this from next season,” Himayatullah, a farmer in Bulkh province said.

Many believe, after sanctions by the US and other countries, cultivation of the poppy is the only alternative for Afghanistan to make some money and deal with the economic crisis.

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