Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, February 11, 2008

U.N. predicts another mammoth harvest of Afghan opium poppies

This year will see another huge harvest of Afghan opium poppies and Europe, Asia, and the United States should expect an influx of heroin and opium this upcoming spring, according to a new report compiled by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime given to the New York Times.

According to the report, cultivation is still increasing in the insurgency-hit south and west of the country, and taxes on the crop have become a major source of revenue for the Taliban insurgency. While there is evidence that the spike is leveling off, the “total amount of opium being harvested remains shockingly high,” said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

“This is a windfall for antigovernment forces, further evidence of the dangerous link between opium and insurgency,” Mr. Costa added. Yet he did note positive signs for the future. 67 percent of those farmers offered assistance in planting other crops decided to abandon poppy growing, and additional statistics show that poppy cultivation decreases with increasing security.

For the full article, click here.


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