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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Harvesting illegal poppies to build a better future

Business

7Dnews London

Sat, 08 Jun 2019 12:58 GMT

Afghanistan continues to be the world’s top producer of illegal opium for drug production, which it started producing in significant quantities in the mid-1950s, and which continues to be a very valuable crop for Afghan farmers, despite various efforts to eradicate it.  

“I wanted to continue my studies, but my economic issues have forced me to do this business,” Mohammed Ahmadi, an opium farmer told 7dnews, indicating the reality of the problem for Afghanistan’s farmers. Ahmadi was only 13 years old when he first started scratching poppy bulbs to harvest their sap for a living. 

Today, the Afghanistan opium poppy harvest produces 90% of illicit heroin globally, and more than 95% that is supplied to Europe. 

“The government is not paying attention to us and did not pave the ground for alternate jobs,” Ahmadi said.

Asia