Afghanistan: June 12, 2003


It's estimated that last year Afghanistan produced 3,422 tons of opium, which would be 75 percent of total estimated world production. Opium production is Afghanistan's largest industry, most lucrative exports and source of power for many warlords. Poppy growing, which provides the raw material for opium, is the largest crop (by cash income received) in the country. The drug gangs are, in aggregate, more powerful than the central government and all the provincial governors and local warlords deal with them in one way or another. So far, the drug gangs have stayed out of politics. But if the government makes a major move against the drug trade, this could change.  


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