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Afghan farmers resorting to poppy cultivation for survival

ANI | Updated: Oct 21, 2022 19:17 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 21 (ANI): Amid severe economic crisis in Afghanistan, millions of destitute Afghan farmers and labourers have turned to the cultivation of opium poppies, the Office of the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a statement.
The inspecting body, SIGAR, has issued a strict warning regarding the consequences of drug cultivation in Afghanistan and trafficking which has increased since the Taliban took power, Khaama Press reported.
Due to severe unemployment conditions all across Kabul, numerous farmers in the war-ravaged country have been having a tough time which is why, they resorted to drug cultivation which was banned by Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah in March of this year.
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after US forces left Afghan soil, the cultivation and trafficking of drugs have nearly doubled in the country, according to Khaama Press.

Moreover, the embargo and suspension of international aid increased dependence on opium cultivation income, according to a report by SIGAR on Wednesday, October 19, which cited the US Department of State.
Taliban's involvement with the illicit drug economy has brought revenues for the insurgent group. According to a study conducted in the year 2018, out of the total annual income of the Taliban of USD 1.5 billion, the drug trade is estimated to contribute about USD 420 million a year.
Afghanistan is the world's largest opium producer, which is refined to produce heroin. Afghanistan will soon turn out to be a major supplier of heroin owing to the estimated annual export value of USD 1.5 to USD 3 billion. Opium harvesting in the country has led to 120,000 jobs in the year 2019, reported IFFRAS.
The World Food Programme has also raised concerns about the economic crisis in Afghanistan and also the rising unemployment.
In the wake of an excessive surge in food insecurity in Afghanistan, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has provided aid to 38 per cent of Afghans to help them avoid the impact of the ongoing crisis. (ANI)