1. Agriculture World

Taliban Bans Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan, Destroys Violators’ Crops

This isn't the first time the fundamentalist group has declared the trade illegal. Production was outlawed in 2000, just before the group was deposed by US-led forces in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Binita Kumari
"All Afghans are informed that poppy cultivation is now totally outlawed across the country," declared Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in a decree.
"All Afghans are informed that poppy cultivation is now totally outlawed across the country," declared Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in a decree.

The Taliban's supreme leader issued a ban on poppy growing in Afghanistan on Sunday, threatening that the country's hardline Islamist government will retaliate against farmers who planted the crop.

Afghanistan is the world's largest grower of poppies, the sap that is refined into heroin and its output and exports have increased dramatically in recent years.

"All Afghans are informed that poppy cultivation is now totally outlawed across the country," declared Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in a decree.

At a press conference attended by reporters, foreign diplomats, and Taliban officials, government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid read out the order.

"Anyone who disobeys the directive will have their crop destroyed immediately, and the violation will be dealt with according to sharia law," it added.

This isn't the first time the fundamentalist group has declared the trade illegal. Production was outlawed in 2000, just before the group was deposed by US-led forces in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The Taliban imposed high taxes on farmers farming the crop in regions under their control throughout their 20-year struggle against foreign forces.

It became a vital source of revenue for the organization.

During their two decades in Afghanistan, US and NATO soldiers tried to discourage poppy production by paying locals to cultivate wheat or saffron instead.

Experts claim the Taliban, who control the key poppy-growing districts and profit hundreds of millions of dollars from the trade, hindered their efforts.

Abdul Salam Hanafi, Libya's Deputy Prime Minister, dismissed reports that the Taliban aided poppy-growing during their conflict.

"How come it was exported around the world while they (US-led forces) had complete authority over Afghanistan?" Hanafi asked on Sunday.

Although data is missing, Afghan media reports claim that production has surged in two southern provinces, Kandahar and Helmand, since the Taliban gained power in August.

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