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Sixteen Years of Afghan War Result in Record Opium Production

Nov. 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics’ unit reported this month that opium production has skyrocketed by an astonishing 87% this past year, reaching a record 9,000 metric tons of opium. Most of the increase came from a 63% increase in the area under cultivation, including three provinces that were previously opium-free. So much for 16 years of U.S. and British military occupation of Afghanistan. Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said:

"It is high time for the international community and Afghanistan to reprioritize drug control, and to acknowledge that every nation has a shared responsibility for this global problem."

While the United States and much of the western world are suffering from the worst opioid epidemic in their history, the Afghan farmer is getting even less for his labor—average farm-gate prices at harvest time decreased in all regions of Afghanistan, ranging from –7% in the west to –50% in the northeast, according to the UNODC report.