Posted by: Christian | July 22, 2008

Opium, food crops and food crises

Food crop:

Cash crop:

Both photos of 24th MEU Marines in Afghanistan via peterparkerpiper.

The first crop can be classified as both a food and cash crop, but you get the idea.

UNODC 2007 Opium production map (white equals poppy free and Helmand has the highest production):

Food crisis:

One thing to note is that Helmand is both food secure and “winning” the opium production race. But many of the poppy free provinces are also food secure. It’s complicated: external factors, internal factors, localized factors, etc… You may want to start with these readings:

What does the food crisis mean in Afghanistan (NATO)

Hunger and food prices push Afghanistan to the brink (New York Times)

Afghanistan and the global food crisis (harry rud)


  1. My first comment here. Really nice stuff on the journalist angle. I haven’t seen another media outlet mention either of the two cases I’ve just seen you talk about in detail.

    I’ve seen previous UN opium maps, and I must admit to getting mixed messages. The popular press reports that the Taleban are funded by drug money, but that map shows that, other than Nangarhar, and maybe Kandahar, production is quite low in Pushtun areas compared to the rest of the country.

    Of course, >25,000 hectares could be 1 million or 26,000.

  2. How are you?, Give something to help the hungry people in Africa or India,
    I made this blog about them:


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