Afghanistan expecting record opium crop

Kabul: Afghan farmers are very optimistic that poppy cultivation and production is expected to reach a record high this year while UN agencies are worried that Afghanistan will become Uncontrolled and Unchecked hug of drugs after 201 withdrawal of NATO forces.

According to a report by the UN’s Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012 but also in new areas or areas where poppy cultivation was stopped.

Poppy cultivation is greatest in the Taliban-controlled southern heartlands, in regions where troops in the US-led coalition have either withdrawn are in the process of pulling out, and in areas where there is poor security and little in the way of agricultural aid.

Of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces only 14 were expected to remain poppy free, with an increase predicted in 12 and no major change in 7. The western Herat province showed a fall in cultivation, although this is believed to be due to a statistical blip.