Jul 06, 2010

Muhammad Ajmal Khan Karimi

Released on 31st March 2010, the first survey on cannabis cultivation conducted in Afghanistan by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicated that in addition to being the world’s biggest opium producer, Afghanistan had now become a major supplier of cannabis as well. It is estimated that Afghanistan grows 10,000 to 24,000 hectors of cannabis every year. Hashish is a product of cannabis resin contained in the flowering tops of hemp, chewed or smoked for its intoxicating and euphoric effects. According to UNODC’s Executive Director, Maria Costa, “the astonishing yields of the Afghan cannabis crop (estimated at 1,500 and 3,500 tons a year) makes Afghanistan the world’s biggest producer of hashish.”  The survey was conducted in 1,634 villages, and in 20 provinces, and showed that there were large scale cannabis cultivations in half (17 out of 34) the provinces in Afghanistan. The gross income per hectare of cannabis is US$ 3,900, while the income from opium stands at US$ 3,600. Cannabis is also cheaper to harvest and process than opium. Nonetheless, the survey found that farmers were still more likely to grow opium rather than cannabis, because the latter had a shorter life span, as it is a summer crop. Cannabis production also helps sustain the insurgency and affects the lives of thousands of Afghans, as the rate of addiction to illegal drugs increases every year.(Full Artical,file type (Pdf) 122 KB)