Afghan Opium Production up 61% over 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.