Dhe opium production in Afghanistan and the prices for the heroin raw material have increased according to the United Nations. In the harvest season, which ended in July, 6,800 tons were harvested – eight percent more than in the same period of the previous year, reported the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna on Tuesday. Afghan opium dominates the illegal world market.
The militant Islamist Taliban, who took power in Afghanistan in August, are considered to have profited from the drug trade. According to UNDOC, opium was turned over between 1.8 billion and 2.7 billion US dollars (1.6 billion and 2.4 billion euros) in Afghanistan this year. Around a tenth of Afghanistan’s economic output is based on opium.
“The ongoing uncertainty since August 2021 has pushed opium prices up in August and September and strengthens the incentive for opium cultivation,” said the UN report. Therefore, international help is urgently needed in order to finance programs to reduce opium production locally.
Because at the moment the sowing for the next year’s harvest is already beginning. The UNODC also warned of rising production of the stimulant drug methamphetamine in Afghanistan.