“Poppy cultivates in 24 provinces of the country. Mostly in Helmand, Kandahar, Badghis, Faryab, Orozgan and Nimroz which 180 acres of lands have been cultivated,” Najibullah Ahmadi, a surveyor said.
Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul are all badly hit by the Taliban-led insurgency and it is no coincidence opium cultivation is higher there than anywhere else in the country.
The last few years have seen abundant poppy harvests, with Afghan farmers cultivating more than the global demand.
The illicit economy also discourages private and public investment by fuelling insecurity, violence and insurgency, and creates costs associated with the consumption of opiates for individual drug users and their families.
Agriculture has historically been the backbone of the country-Afghanistan has plenty of fertile land and produces delicious apricots, pomegranates, raisins and pistachios to name a few — but the rural infrastructure has been destroyed over three decades.