While America eats the cost of a multibillion-dollar anti-poppy campaign, opium producers in Afghanistan don’t see any way out of the business. The problem is only likely to get worse this year as blight cuts the size of the crop, leading to higher prices and more widespread cultivation in years to come. “Now I am desperate, what can I do?” poppy farmer Mohammed Amin told The New York Times. “I don’t have any cash now to start another business, and if I grow any other crops, I cannot make a profit.” Breaking the back of the poppy trade in Afghanistan has long been a key strategic American interest, a concern unabated as thousands of American troops prepare to leave the country.
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