Opium poppy production in Afghanistan, previously the world’s top supplier, has plummeted since the Taliban administration banned the cultivation of narcotics last year, a United Nations report said.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said opium cultivation fell throughout the country to just 10,800 hectares in 2023 from 233,000 hectares the previous year, slashing supply by 95 percent to 333 tons.
This was putting pressure on farmers in the war-torn country, where most people depend on agriculture and the value of poppy exports had at times outstripped the value of all formal exported goods, the UNODC said.
The sharp decline could have major consequences for the economy in a country where around two-thirds of the population are already in need of humanitarian aid, the report said. (Reuters)