By: Shoaib Shirzai
Kabul: After the ouster of the Republic government and takeover by Taliban in August 2021, challenges Afghanistan is in a state of constant crisis, with a precarious economy and wider instability enabling illicit markets. increasing poverty, and macroeconomic instability.
Afghans are experiencing crisis or emergency level of food. the changes caused trade to grind to a halt and many businesses were forced to lay off. That is why harvesting opium became the sources of income and quick cash and farmers in many parts of the country returned to poppy production and cultivation of opium.
Poppies are the main source of income for millions of small farmers and the laborers who works in collection of the opium sting. Most of the farmers who cultivate opium poppy live in villages with lower quality infrastructure, and with less advantaged living conditions. Afghanistan’s poorest often use the promise of the next year’s poppy harvest to buy staples such as flour, sugar and cooking oil.
Beside the ban of the Taliban for the puppy cultivation, Taliban warned farmers that their crops will be burned and that they can be jailed if they proceed with the harvest, Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, despite billions of dollars spent by the international community during its 20 years in Afghanistan to eradicate the drug. Afghanistan produces more opium than all opium-producing countries combined in the world. Most percentage of heroin produced from Afghan opium reaches Europe through Central Asia and neighboring countries.
Afghanistan remains the world’s biggest illicit opiate supplier. More production brings drugs with a cheaper and more attractive price, and therefore a wider accessibility. the UNODC estimated the country’s overall illicit opiate economy last year at as much as $6.6 billion. from poppy planting, opium extraction, and trafficking to exacting “taxes” from cultivators and drug labs to charging smugglers fees for shipments bound for Africa, Europe, Canada, Russia, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia. The more profit is in the hand of smugglers the former’s getting only some amount of it to be alive.
International donors have spent billions of dollars on counter-narcotics drives in Afghanistan over the past decade, including programs to encourage farmers to switch to other cash crops such as saffron. But now they have stopped their projects, I heard there is the United nations organization (UNODC) United Nation Office on Drugs and crime. They had reduced their projects about 90% in Afghanistan. afghan nation wants the United nation and its donors to implement the alternative livelihood projects for the reduction of the puppy’s cultivation.
It is while that The United States has freed a convicted Afghan drug lord imprisoned in the US in a prisoner swap with the Taliban that saw the release of a US Navy veteran held in Afghanistan since 2020.
“In the announcement of the new York prosecutor’s office in 2009, Bashar Noorzai was mentioned as one of the biggest and most dangerous drug traffickers in the world, who had played a major role in leading a large number of drug production, setting up heroin production factories and also financing Taliban in this way by suing poppy cultivation fields in Kandahar province.”