I blogged on another platform almost 3 years ago was about the huge increase in opium cultivation in Afghanistan following the US invasion in 2001. In that post I suggested that there was a connection between the Afghan Taliban banning the cultivation of the opium poppy in 2000 and the subsequent invasion in 2001. To illustrate my point, here's a graph taken from the 2004 report.
Notice the huge drop off in 2001 which just so happens to be the same year the US invaded and also notice how by 2004 more land was being used for opium cultivation than any time since records began.
Fast forward to 2017 and the latest survey results and things have gotten much worse.
Here are a few excerpts from the latest report which you can view here.
From the executive summary on page 4.
"In 2017, opium poppy cultivation increased sharply to an unprecedented record high of 328,000 hectares from an estimated 201,000 hectares in 2016. Between 2016 and 2017, the area under cultivation with opium poppy increased by 127,000 hectares – the increase alone exceeded the levels of annual cultivation of 2009 and 2010.
In Hilmand province alone, cultivation increased by 63,700 hectares (+79 per cent) which accounted for about half of the total national increase between 2016 and 2017.
Mainly caused by the increase in area under cultivation but as well due to good yields, potential opium production almost doubled from its 2016 level (4,800 tons) to 9,000 tons in 2017. Accounting for 57 per cent of national production, the Southern region continued to produce the vast majority of opium in Afghanistan, followed by the Northern (16 per cent of national production), Western (13 per cent) and Eastern regions (9 per cent)."
There doesn't appear to be a graph in the latest report that compares previous years cultivation in the same way as was done in the 2004 survey but to put it in perspective, in 2004 there were 131,000 hectares of land being used for poppy cultivation and in 2017 it had risen to 328,000 hectares. These numbers are astonishing considering that there is supposed to be a 'war on drugs'. I say "astonishing" but in reality it isn't astonishing if you believe as I do that the global illicit drug market is run by the CIA/MI5 with the money made going towards various black budgets. When you see it that way the numbers make a lot more sense as does the invasion in 2001 when the Afghan heroin cash flow was on the verge of being extinguished by the Taliban.
I get angry when I think about this because to me it is so obvious what is happening yet I live in a country whose citizens seemingly had no problem with the British Army being in Afghanistan to defend and protect the opium crop. They had a base in Helmand (since abandoned) which has seen a 79% increase in area cultivated last year (as stated above) yet we are supposed to believe they were there to help the Afghan people . What a joke.
Here's a depressing revelation from page 4 of the report.
"Each year thousands of tons of opium are produced in Afghanistan and then converted into heroin to reach end-consumer markets around the globe. With the record high of production in 2017, a wave of high quality, low cost heroin is expected to reach consumer markets across the world."
High quality, low cost heroin hitting the consumer markets across the world !! Just what we need !!
The report runs to 80 pages and includes all sorts of interesting and depressing facts and figures but I won't reproduce any more of it in this post as you can view it for yourself if you are interested.
Expect the situation to only get worse because very few people are aware and even fewer care.
Thanks for reading