Heroin Prices Rise As Fungus Hits Poppy Crops

Photo Credit: Reuters, Afghan girl working during a harvest in a poppy field with marines on patrol

“[It]… has affected my wheat cultivation and my chickens and other animals as well,” he said.

“The powder sprayed has a white colour and I think it is chemical and if you squeeze it in your hand, water

comes out of it.” ~Farmer Haji Mohammad in Nawzad, Afghanistan as told to the BBC

Sometimes I think many believe the environment has nothing to do with them. That’s an easier position to take if one lives in an urban or even suburban community, but the effects of problems in nature can be felt in ways one might not even think of.

In this case if you’re on heroin or know someone who is junkies beware, the price is going up.

Jay-Z feat. Memphis Bleek & Amil- “Hey Papi”

“Even if they don’t understand the flow/ They understand the dough”

I admit I still find this song kind of annoying. This song is from way back in 2000 when visual genius Hype Williams still got work. He did the video. This song features Amil (remember her?) and Memphis Bleek and is produced by Timbaland. I still find this song chirpy and annoying.

Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims opium prices have gone up 50% in the Afghanistan region.

A disease, a fungus as it’s being called, is infecting half of Afghanistan’s poppy crop by attacking the roots and climbing up the stem of the plant which heroin and opium are derived from. The country produces 92% of the world’s opium. So what else is happening in Afghanistan…oh yeah, we’re at war with them.

I’ve read and heard scant reporting on the role drugs play in our current wars but best believe it plays a part. It’s too profitable not to.

According to one poppy farmer in Afghanistan nature is not to blame NATO is. He claims he’s seen a significant drop in the amount of poppy he is able to harvest. He went from harvesting 450kg (990lb) of opium to 4kg to be exact and described the fungus to the BBC as an “aerial spray”.

What the BBC calls “a number” of farmers are reporting a similar story about the white substance as well as crop damage and livestock issues.

Costa denies NATO involvement.

I don’t see any reasons to believe something of that sort,” he said. “Opium plants have been affected in Afghanistan on a periodic basis.”

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He also considers this an opportunity to get poppy farmers to turn away from their cash crop. It just so happens that insurgent groups and the Taliban turn huge profits off of opium. Could that play a part in the appearance of this mysterious “fungus”?

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