Apr 3, 2022 - World

Taliban bans opium poppy production

poppy field in Afghanistan
A farmer is seen at a poppy field in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on March 17. Photo: Mohammad Noori/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Taliban on Sunday announced a ban on opium poppy production.

Why it matters: Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, which has in the past provided a crucial revenue stream for the Taliban, as it gained territory ahead of the complete takeover.

  • A 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that poppy cultivation covered 320,000 hectares throughout the country, an area about the size of Rhode Island.

Details: Any farmers caught continuing with a harvest will be jailed and their crops will be burned, according to the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who announced the ban during a press conference in Kabul on Sunday.

  • Mujahid later shared the decree on Twitter.
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