RealNews

In Afghan Poppy Heartland, New Crops, Growing Danger

Mahmad Naim’s cucumber patch is a speck of defiance in a vast landscape of opium poppy fields whose bright green bulbs, bursting with toxic sap, will bring nearly $1 billion into Helmand province this year. Naim is one of a few thousand farmers in Helmand, the country’s major opium-producing region, who have signed on to a U.S.-sponsored program aimed at proving that legal crops, such as eggplants and tomatoes, can bring a healthy income for those who switch from poppy. Full Story

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