A View from Russian Media! —Why is the production of drugs growing in Afghanistan?
Note: This article was originally published by Gumilev Center Afghanistan and Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency has translated it into English to share with our English speaking readers.
Kabul, Afghanistan: Poppy cultivation and drug production in Afghanistan has become a very big problem today. This problem is becoming more and more serious, and if we add to it a high level of corruption and rampant terrorism throughout the country, the result is an “ill-fated triangle”, which greatly enhances the already deplorable state of the country. The actual lack of active action by law enforcement agencies, corruption, and the increase in the number of drug addicts among the population are all the result of the activities of drug cartels and terrorist organizations that contribute to the deterioration of the domestic political and economic situation in the country.
Afghanistan is one of the largest countries producing opium raw in the world. It is generally accepted that Afghanistan has been on the “leaderboard” since 2001.
In the period from 2005 to 2009, the government launched a special program, the main purpose of which was the reorientation of rural households from poppy cultivation to crops. It should be noted that during these events some success was achieved: the area of poppy fields markedly decreased in the Northern and North-Eastern provinces. Unfortunately, today the situation is that the total area of poppy fields is not that it returned to the original parameters, but even exceeded the figures that had to be before the above program.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime issued a statement that this year there is a tendency to increase the volume of raw opium produced in Afghanistan. It was also noted that the total area of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is 328,000 hectares.
In the anti-drug trafficking department of Afghanistan, a report was made, during which the following data were provided: the volume of poppy harvest increased by as much as 63% compared to the previous year, and the volume of opium produced by raw sugar – by 87%.
“90% of the acreage is in the provinces in the South, North and North-East of the country, that is, in the regions most unsecured from the security point of view,” said one of the department’s employees
The growth in the production of drugs in Afghanistan is caused by a number of factors, and if the way out is not found, then this problem, with time, will increasingly complicate the unpleasant situation in the country:
War and low level of security ensue both in non-observance of state laws, and in violation of the basic norms of morality. War weakens the power of the central government, reduces its influence in remote provinces. Military organizations that “replace” themselves and the government and security services in such regions, seeking financial prosperity, begin to engage in drug trafficking. One of the main sources of income for such organizations, in addition to foreign sponsorship, is the trafficking in narcotics.
Poverty and unemployment are the result of the deplorable state of the country’s economy, which directly correlates with undeveloped agriculture, an underdeveloped economic system with undeveloped trading activities. Partly, for this reason, some peasants are engaged in poppy cultivation, since for them it is more profitable than other activities, and it provides an opportunity to feed the family.
The inability of the state to solve the problem independently
An ideal solution would be to resolve two problems at once: combating drug trafficking and solving the issue of growing grain crops, that is, the state’s subsidizing policy for the creation of farms. Unfortunately, this does not happen in the country yet.
Lack of effective foreign support
At the moment, in some areas of Afghanistan, there are various kinds of conflicts between drug cartels, clashes of terrorist organizations. This situation is influenced by both external and internal factors, so it is simply necessary that Afghanistan cooperate with the world community in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. And for this it is necessary to radically change the existing strategy to combat these problems.