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