Afghan Farmers Threatening To Replant Opium Poppies

Old Blog Import

Ziauddin, a sunburned 65-year-old farmer, watched with mingled regret and anticipation. Like thousands of other farmers who grow opium poppies in Afghanistan, he had been promised $350 in cash for each fifteenth of an acre that was destroyed — far less than drug smugglers normally paid, but still a tempting deal.

By last week, however, none of the money had reached the poppy farmers in Ziauddin’s village, parched by four years of drought that thirstier crops such as wheat cannot withstand. The villagers vowed angrily that if they are not paid soon, they will start growing poppies again.”