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Tags: Coronavirus | opium | afghanistan | coronavirus | kandahar province

Surge in Afghan Opium Production Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Surge in Afghan Opium Production Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

An Afghan boy collects raw opium in the Surkhroad district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Mohammad Anwar Danishyar/AP)

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2020 10:20 PM

A huge surge in opium production in Afghanistan caused by the coronavirus threatens to flood western markets with cheap opium and heroin.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that farmers in Afghanistan’s opium-producing region in Kandahar Province are increasing their cultivation of opium poppy crops in an effort to survive economically. 

The amount of land under cultivation has increased by more than 60 percent over the last 10 years, and today, 649,887 acres are under cultivation.

The Daily Mail claimed “Afghanistan's cheap heroin to flood Britain,” because of the surge in production. 

UN inspectors are predicting that this year's harvest will be between 1,900 and 2,700 tons - a rise of up to 1,400 percent in 12 months.

In 2018, the UN reported that Afghanistan produced 82 percent of the world’s opium supply, Breitbart News reported.

While the US has tried working with the government of Afghanistan to limit opium production because it finances the Taliban, farmers there say they are forced to grow opium to keep out of poverty.

Noor Agha, an opium farmer, told RFE/RL, "There are no factories or other businesses here that can offer employment. Our prospects have been ravaged by drought. Now the Coronavirus has hit us, too, which has left us no option but to cultivate poppies.”

Another farmer named Bahauddin, said, “We are receiving no subsides from the government, which leaves poppy cultivation as our only means to survive.”

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A huge surge in opium production in Afghanistan, caused by the coronavirus which has impoverished farmers, threatens to flood western markets with cheap opium and heroin.
opium, afghanistan, coronavirus, kandahar province
251
2020-20-08
Friday, 08 May 2020 10:20 PM
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