Afghan farmers ready to swamp world with heroingreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25 2001 Flood of cheap Afghan heroin FROM STEPHEN FARRELL IN ISLAMABAD AFGHAN farmers are ready to swamp world markets with heroin amid signs that the Taleban has dropped its ban on opium growing. The ban was imposed by Mullah Muhammad Omar last year, leaving many farmers ruined. But the sudden halving of the price of raw opium to $250 a kg suggests the decree has been reversed. Even if it remains in place, desperate farmers are expected to resume planting next month while Taleban security forces are engaged elsewhere.
One source confirmed last night: “There has definitely been a decrease in the price of opium in Afghanistan in recent days. This would happen either because people expect an increase in supply or a decrease in demand, and if there is one thing from Afghanistan which is guaranteed to have an international demand, it is opium.”
Afghanistan produced 75 per cent of the world’s opium last year and Mullah Omar’s ban was seen as one of the few attempts by a pariah regime to gain credit with the international community. Its enforcement was ruthless and efficient. UN figures show that Afghanistan’s opium production was 4,600 tonnes in 1999, but this is thought to have dropped to 100 tonnes this year.
The respite, however, may prove short-lived. One Western source said: “The farmers have to decide by mid-October if they are going to plant. The more we move into a campaign the more incentive they have to cultivate poppies.”
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), September 24, 2001
Oh, what a jolly thought. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
-- Big Cheese (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2001.
I've read several stories about how we can't hurt the Afghans more than has already occurred because the Russians rolled over their country. True sob stories about how there farms were destroyed, school, hospitals etc.
Well its seems they got there farms up and running, doesn't it? If they're starving I suggest they switch to a food crop. Afghanistan is the leading producer of opium in the world.
-- Guy Daley (email@example.com), September 25, 2001.