The Iranian Anti-Drug Headquarters has revealed that the income of Afghan farmers from opium cultivation has tripled.
Amirabbas Lotfi, the spokesperson for the Iranian Anti-Drug Headquarters, made this announcement on Tuesday, November 28, in response to a recent United Nations report on the reduction of opium cultivation in Afghanistan, according to an ISNA report.
Lotfi stated, “The income of Afghan farmers from opium cultivation in the past Gregorian year has suddenly tripled, estimated at over $4 billion. However, part of this threefold increase is attributed to a 32% rise in cultivation and an increase in drug prices last year.”
Despite the Taliban leader’s decree banning opium cultivation and production, Lotfi pointed out that drugs are still being cultivated and produced in Afghanistan. He emphasized that opium cultivation in Afghanistan has reached 266,000 hectares.
“The proposed solutions for substituting drug cultivation in Afghanistan have not been sustainable,” added the Iranian official. Consequently, not only have traditional drugs been produced in Afghanistan, but the country has also become a center for the production of psychoactive substances. Lotfi warned, “If the solutions are not sustainable, we will witness a return to regression or a downward trend.”
This information comes in contrast to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report earlier this month, which reported a 95% reduction in opium production in Afghanistan.