United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published a comprehensive report about drug production and cultivation in Afghanistan. Afghanistan currently exports the largest amount of heroin in the world.
The report notes that the amount of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan steadily increased throughout 2017, which is necessary for increasing heroin production. Thousands of production laboratories produce heroin in Afghanistan.
The chart below show that the Taliban tried to curb the drug production in Afghanistan, as a way to earn international recognition, with record low of only 8 thousand hectares of opium poppy fields in 2001. After the foreign intervention, ensuing 16 years show incredible rise of opium poppy cultivation to estimated 328 thousand hectares. The US’s “fight against drugs” is either woefully inefficient, or deliberately so.
This chart demonstrates the cost of opium in Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces. The graph peaks in 2001, corresponding with Taliban’s attempts of fighting drug production. After the foreign intervention, opium prices started to go down.
The new overall rise of production and cultivation corresponds with the further deteoration of the security situation is Afghanistan despite the increased presence of the US-led coalition in the country.