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Multiple harvests drive Afghan opium boom


Lashkar Gah (Afghanistan) (AFP) – With jingling poppy seeds hidden in his pouch, Helmand farmer Nematullah sidled out of Taliban territory to explain how he struck gold —- two additional opium harvests a year, which could further roil Afghanistan’s conflict.

Afghanistan has all the trappings of a narco-state, with opium production —- the lifeblood of the Taliban insurgency -— from the traditional spring harvest alone edging towards a record high.

Farmers such as Nematullah are now reaping two more crops —- in midsummer and autumn -— in parts of the volatile south, with experts citing genetically modified seeds and bold farming experiments as irrigation techniques improve and eradication efforts collapse. – READ MORE

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