A number of groups in the Taliban have mainstay commodities other than opium, namely cannabis or marijuana. The quality of cannabis in Afghanistan is said to be one of the best in the world, especially in the form of cannabis resin.
Heroin, morphine, opium and marijuana have largely provided the Taliban with substantial income in recent years.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that in 2021, Afghanistan was ranked second after Morocco for the area of origin of cannabis circulation throughout the world in the 2015-2019 range.
Below that are Pakistan and Lebanon. Its circulation is spread to Middle Eastern countries, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, and West Asia.
Types of hashish from Afghanistan were also identified in Asian, Eastern European, Western European, and Central European countries during cannabis confiscation processes.
In the 2015-2019 period alone, most of Iran’s confiscated cannabis came from Afghanistan. About 65 percent of the seized marijuana was destined for the Arabian peninsula. While 15 percent goes to the Caucasus region, and 20 percent goes to local consumption.
Although in 2019 as many as 21 hectares of cannabis plants were eradicated, in the following year there was no similar action.
Causes of growing opium and cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan, read on next page…
Many different factors may play a role in annual changes, including a severe drought in 2018, flash floods in 2019, as well as a deteriorating security situation and increased instability in 2020.
Although there is a Covid-19 pandemic, it does not affect the cannabis cultivation area or labor for harvesting. However, it can be expected that the economic downturn after the pandemic, combined with rising food prices lead to a further increase in poppy cultivation in the years to come.
In 2010, the United Nations reported that Afghanistan had long been the world’s largest producer of opium. The country is now a major supplier of cannabis with large-scale cultivation in most of its territory.
While Afghanistan’s yield per hectare is 145 kilograms. This amount is much higher than the yield in Morocco which is only 40 kilograms per hectare.