Afghanistan expects banner crop of poppy for opium

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The Taliban fell 12 years ago in Afghanistan, but one of its steadiest sources of funding — opium, which is derived from the poppy plant — has hardly faded, and U.N. experts say this year’s crop is on target to near record-breaking production levels.

“Poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012, … but also in new areas or areas where poppy cultivation was stopped,” the U.N.’s Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment found.

The poppy report looks bad for Britian, which was supposed to be leading international counter-narcotics efforts for the past decade. The report comes as western troops are pulling out of the nation.

The growth of poppies and the opium trade is being blamed on ongoing instability and the easier access to farmland, the Guardian reported.

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