KABUL, Oct 8: The number of Afghan families growing cannabis as a cash crop leapt by over a third last year, the United Nations has said.
The increase adds to the drug-control problem in a country that is already the world’s top producer of opium.
Prices for the best quality resin have nearly tripled since 2009, to $95 a kilo, adding to the lure of a crop that can earn farmers even more than opium poppies. It is also is generally looked on more leniently by authorities bent on cutting drug crops. As a result, Afghanistan’s importance as a source of cannabis resin for world markets may be growing, the report warns, even as other producers, such as Morocco, are growing a smaller share.
Afghan farmers were expected to produce around 1,300 tonnes of cannabis in 2011, the Afghanistan cannabis survey estimated. That is a similar amount to the previous two years, but with many more farmers turning to the crop.
By arrangement with the Guardian