29 Jan '13, 3pm

The 'Opium Brides' of Afghanistan

Despite the risk of incarceration for locals who possess large amounts of the drug, opium cultivation remains a core element of Helmand's cultural and economic fabric. Poppy is relatively inexpensive to grow, in terms of the cost of seed and average crop yields per unit of water and land, and its cultivation has a guaranteed and well-understood net return. In addition, poppy is labor-intensive to harvest, employing large segments of the population; bricks of opium paste can be stored underground for up to five years without spoiling; and it can be used as cash in the local economy. Most crucially, opium farmers gain access to credit. Because of the entrenched financing and trade infrastructure that has grown up around poppy cultivation, small farmers and sharecroppers can easily obtain credit and supplies from merchants, shop owners, and other businessmen, a debt paid back...

Full article: http://www.longwarjournal.org/videos/2013/01/the_opium_br...

Tweets

IMU commander captured in northern Afghanistan ...

longwarjournal.org 30 Jan '13, 12pm

Afghan and Coalition forces arrested an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) commander today during an operation in Afghan...

AFGHANISTAN UN: girls age 10-14 are 5X more likely to die in childbirth than women age 20 - stop child brides

AFGHANISTAN UN: girls age 10-14 are 5X more lik...

mnn.com 28 Jan '13, 1am

Greater efforts must be made to protect girls in Afghanistan, where nearly half are married as child brides and almost one...

In Afghanistan, teaching music to overcome war's percussion

In Afghanistan, teaching music to overcome war'...

stripes.com 26 Jan '13, 8pm

A student cleans his sarod, a traditional Afghan instrument, at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Students at t...

Afghan security forces now bearing the brunt of...

stripes.com 27 Jan '13, 2pm

Afghan National Police soldiers check a car in Panjshir province in December 2011. Casualty rates for Afghan troops have s...

Airmen in Afghanistan tried to do what they could to help out a local school with supplies.

Airmen in Afghanistan tried to do what they cou...

af.mil 29 Jan '13, 7pm

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- Afghan air force security forces troops with the Kandahar Air Wing here led a mis...