Reducing the Cultivation of Opium Poppies in Southern Afghanistan

Reducing the Cultivation of Opium Poppies in Southern Afghanistan

Victoria A. Greenfield
Keith Crane
Craig A. Bond
Nathan Chandler
Jill E. Luoto
Olga Oliker
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 266
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt15sk868
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  • Book Info
    Reducing the Cultivation of Opium Poppies in Southern Afghanistan
    Book Description:

    This report identifies drivers of opium poppy cultivation in southern Afghanistan and assesses the positive and negative effects of programs designed to promote rural development, eradicate opium poppies, or otherwise create incentives for farmers cultivate less opium poppy. The authors also provide advice on how to design programs that might better serve to reduce the cultivation of opium poppies in southern Afghanistan over the long term.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9128-4
    Subjects: History, Psychology, Technology, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxvi)

    In 2013, Afghanistan produced about 5,500 metric tons of opium, making it the world’s leading opium producer. Despite rapid economic growth in the country’s non-opium economy between 2006 and 2013, the International Monetary Fund estimated that value-added from opiates still amounted to about 15 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product in 2013, as compared with 29 percent in 2005. Opium is a potent economic force. On the one hand, opium-based incomes sustain a large segment of the Afghan population. According to Byrd and Mansfield, opium provided around 376,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013. On the other hand, it fuels corruption,...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Afghanistan dominates the world opiate market. In 2013, it produced about 5,500 metric tons of opium, making it the world’s leading opium producer (Figure 1.1).¹ It has held that position in all but one year of the past 20.² At the same time, opiates contribute substantially to the Afghan economy: Despite rapid economic growth in the non-opium economy between 2006 and 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that value-added from opiates still amounted to about 15 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product in 2013, as compared with 29 percent in 2005.³ Opiates, consisting primarily of opium and heroin, remain...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Household-Level Conditions and Dynamics
    (pp. 11-38)

    In 2013, Afghanistan’s per capita gross domestic product of $679 was in the bottom 7 percent of countries in the world.¹ Economic opportunities for individuals, especially those in remote areas, are limited.

    Opium poppy is Afghanistan’s most important cash crop. Between 2006 and 2010, an estimated average of 363,000 households, amounting to 12 percent of rural households, farmed opium poppies in Afghanistan each year.² In southern Afghanistan, an average of 219,000 households, over one-half of rural households, grew opium poppy.³

    In this chapter, we present contextual information on the ground conditions and dynamics that affect decisions to grow opium poppy...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Effects of Socio-Economic and Other Environmental Conditions on Opium Poppy Production
    (pp. 39-84)

    In this chapter, we consider the direct and indirect influences of important socio-economic, cultural, and other factors on decisions by different types of landholding households in southern Afghanistan concerning what to plant. We do so by presenting a visual representation, or “map,” of the relationships between each factor and a household’s planting decision. Relevant factors include, for example, security, eradication, and environmental risks; governance and religiosity; landholding remoteness, arrangements, and size; household size, accumulated debt, and outside income; agricultural input costs and technology; and opium, wheat, and other commodity prices. The factor map is itself an analytical tool and provides...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Rural Development Programs in Afghanistan
    (pp. 85-166)

    This chapter assesses the effects of seven major rural development programs implemented over the past decade in Afghanistan on farmers’ decisions to cultivate opium poppy. Because of the large role played by southern Afghanistan in opium poppy cultivation, most of the programs we examine focus on that region, but some cover other regions of the country.

    For each program, we provide

    a description of the program

    a description of the results of the program

    an analysis of the program in relation to the decision to cultivate opium poppy.

    Our program descriptions include the name of the funding source, the organizations...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Programs with Crop-Eradication Features
    (pp. 167-196)

    In this chapter, we assess the likely effects of three programs that include crop-eradication features to varying degrees: (1) the Governor-Led Eradication program, (2) the Good Performers Initiative, and (3) the Helmand Food Zone program. All are funded by the U.S. government, among other donors. These programs present alternative approaches to reducing opium poppy cultivation. The first is the primary program in Afghanistan involving eradication. The second provides community-level inducements to reduce opium poppy cultivation and to encourage governors to try to reduce opium poppy cultivation through a variety of means, including eradication. The third is a program no longer...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Policy and Programmatic Guidance
    (pp. 197-218)

    Opium is Afghanistan’s most important cash crop and, although opium poppy grows throughout much of Afghanistan, it has become entrenched in the south, especially in Helmand province. In southern Afghanistan, on average 219,000 households, over one-half of rural households, grew opium poppy between 2005–2006 and 2009–2010.¹ There, opium yields generated over one-quarter of household income.² Well-established, if loosely formed, networks purchase raw opium from farmers, consolidate purchases at local markets, and then sell it for domestic consumption, export, or further processing into heroin for sale in foreign markets, thus mitigating the challenges of engaging in agriculture in an...

  15. Appendixes
    (pp. 219-220)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 221-234)