Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Afghan Opium Cultivation Reaches Record High-UN

Afghanistan's opium cultivation jumped 64 percent to a record 324,000 acres this year and drug exports now account for more than 60 percent of the economy, the United Nations drugs office said Thursday.

"This year Afghanistan has established a double record -- the highest drug cultivation in the country's history, and the largest in the world," Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told a news briefing.

Opium, the raw material for heroin, was grown in all Afghanistan's 32 provinces this year. Ten percent of the population, or 2.3 million people, helped farm it because grinding poverty made it more attractive than other crops.

"Cultivation has spread ... making narcotics the main engine of economic growth and the strongest bond among previously quarrelsome peoples," Costa said. "Valued at $2.8 billion, the opium economy is now equivalent to over 60 percent of Afghanistan's 2003 gross domestic product."

We can be very proud of the thriving market economy we have created in Afghanistan. And what with thousands of Americans getting wounded in Iraq, we are doing our part to help stimulate demand for their goods.


Blogger raginblue6 said...

That is a good thing. Another year of Bush, let alone four, and we will all be needin' some of that opium. Anything to kill the pain!

8:56 AM  

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