Afghan Opium Production up 61% over 2010

Via the BBC:  Afghan opium production ‘rises by 61%’ compared with 2010.

Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium – 5,800 tonnes this year – the main ingredient of heroin.

Analysts say that revenue from the drug has helped fund the Taliban insurgency.

Farmers who responded to the survey described economic hardship and lucrative prices as the main reasons for the increase.

Nearly 80% of the opium grown in Afghanistan is being produced in provinces in the south, including Helmand and Kandahar, which are among the most volatile in the country.

The UN says this demonstrates that there is a clear link between insecurity and opium cultivation.

Such observations make me fear that American policymakers will feel the need to increase US security operations in the country, rather than extricating the US from Afghanistan.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Franklin says:

    Who said our policies aren’t good for the economy?

  2. mike says:

    Heroin addicts had better be sending care packages to service members as I type this. Since the US is for the most part running Afghanistan then i guess we share a large portion of the responsibility for producing 90% of the world’s opium.