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The Economy of Opium and Heroin Production in Afghanistan and Its Impact on HIV Epidemiology in Central Asia

Listed author(s):
  • Nader Ghotbi


    (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University)

  • Tsuneo Tsukatani


    (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

The dramatic increase of poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan has led to a serious drug addiction problem in te world. The rising heroin use, because of needle sharing, may lead to a much higher incidence of HIV infection and AIDS in Afghanistan in the future. We organized two expeditions into Afghanistan itself, one through the capital, Kabul and the other through Tajik border on Am-Darya River and along the regions bordering the Central Asian countries. These expeditions included observations on sites and taking photographs and videos, sampling of soil, vegetation and water at random locations for further analysis, interviews with local authorities, and so on. We also used the data provided by other colleagues and organizations. We compared their information with our findings and sometimes used them to enrich and/or correct our own estimates. The production and trade of illicit narcotics is one of the most significant challenges to progress in Afghanistan. As an economic challenge, it diverts agricultural land and labor from more beneficial uses and undercuts the prospects for developing more sustainable lvelihoods. However, a solution for problems associated with poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan requires the inclusion of many srategies. Providing the local farmers with appropriate economic substitutes for poppy is one of such strategies. Other strategies include assistance with agricultural needs such as irrigation systems and seeds, provision of training to farmers for cultivation of other crops, revival of the agricultural infrastructure including irrigation systems, assisting with economic needs of small farmer.

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Paper provided by Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research in its series KIER Working Papers with number 635.

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Length: 54pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:635
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