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As Afghan Opium Blight Spreads, Farmers' Lives Wilt
Radio Free Europe ^ | May 18 2010 | Mohammad Elyas Daee, Abubakar Siddique

Posted on 05/19/2010 1:15:42 AM PDT by Brugmansian

LASHKAR GAH -- Aziz Ahmad is a deeply worried man. With two wives and seven children at home, the 30-year-old farmer depends entirely on his opium-poppy crop to make a living.

This year, it's proving to be an increasingly difficult task. First, falling water tables stunted his crop. Then a mysterious blight emerged to destroy most of what remained.

In a normal growing season, Ahmad's 4-hectare plot in the Washer district of Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province yields 100 kilograms of opium -- enough to cover his debts and ensure his family's survival over the winter.

This year he managed to bring in a mere 25 kilograms . . .

(Excerpt) Read more at rferl.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghan; afghanistan; blight; farmers; lives; opium; opiumpoppies; poppies; poppy; taliban; wilf; wilt

1 posted on 05/19/2010 1:15:43 AM PDT by Brugmansian
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To: Brugmansian

Can it be?

A genetically-engineered disease?


2 posted on 05/19/2010 1:23:50 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

If so, better hope it doesn’t hop onto food grain- and fruit-bearing plants.


3 posted on 05/19/2010 1:29:49 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Brugmansian

Opium crops are failing?

Oh nooz! Im so sad! Not.


4 posted on 05/19/2010 1:31:31 AM PDT by ketelone
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To: Brugmansian

Agent Orange ?...


5 posted on 05/19/2010 1:33:44 AM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: James C. Bennett

Yup, could be the end of the world.

Maybe it’s nanobots and all biological matter is about to be reduced to grey mush.


6 posted on 05/19/2010 1:34:12 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: James C. Bennett

But how do we know this isn’t a plant disease that has afflicted Opium poppies in the past?

I recall from the Smithsonian’s 1993 Seeds of Change exhibit that the potato blight was especially devastating because Ireland’s potato economy was based on barely two strains of the plant so one disease could wipe them all out. Could it be that Opium has become similarly inbred?


7 posted on 05/19/2010 1:37:15 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: 1COUNTER-MORTER-68

There would have been reports of mysterious planes in the night were that the case.

If GWB had had any guts we would have seen an Operation Ranch Hand II years ago.


8 posted on 05/19/2010 1:38:30 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: Brugmansian

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why they tell you not to plant the same crops in the same spot year after year. This goes for home gardens as well.

Blights are a nightmare to solve.


9 posted on 05/19/2010 1:43:13 AM PDT by Daisyjane69 (Michael Reagan: "Welcome back, Dad, even if you're wearing a dress and bearing children this time)
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To: sinanju

Roger Dat !,,,

I guess they could spray places now too...


10 posted on 05/19/2010 2:06:41 AM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: Brugmansian

what we are too cowardly to do, maybe God is doing


11 posted on 05/19/2010 2:07:38 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (To argue witha person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead)
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To: sinanju

We can only hope..


12 posted on 05/19/2010 2:11:13 AM PDT by maddog55 (OBAMA, Why stupid people shouldn't vote.)
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To: sinanju

Could be. But opium is an old crop, and probably available in several strains.


13 posted on 05/19/2010 2:26:20 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: vanilla swirl

Allah’s will.


14 posted on 05/19/2010 2:27:16 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is <strike>fading</strike>gone.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Opium has indeed been around for a very long time, but I should imagine that it too has been bred and crossbred intensively during the twentieth-century for maximum yield. I’m way out of my horticultural depth here but it seems quite unlike, say pot, in that the only objective is to produce as much milky sap as possible. Now, maybe it’s like the apple tree, in that there is very little man can do to change it but maybe, just maybe it has come down to a few varieties that maximize the goo output.

Let us not forget that the article said 90% of the world’s opium is grown in Afghanistan so whatever strain dominates there is the strain in question.

We’ll know just how devastating this turns out to be when the street price of happy dust goes through the roof.


15 posted on 05/19/2010 2:40:40 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: Brugmansian

Forgive me if I don’t weep for these “poor” farmers.


16 posted on 05/19/2010 2:57:36 AM PDT by ChocChipCookie (God to Obama: Don't think I'm not keepin' track. Brother.)
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To: ChocChipCookie

They’re going to need a bail out...

O can show them how it’s done.


17 posted on 05/19/2010 3:32:34 AM PDT by homegroan (Proud member of the Hoi Polloi......ILLIGITIMA NON CARBORUNDUM..... -that's 4U Dad!))
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To: sinanju

“Could it be that Opium has become similarly inbred?”

Like the people that grow it.


18 posted on 05/19/2010 4:06:06 AM PDT by MagnoliaB
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To: MagnoliaB
More like the people who use it!
19 posted on 05/19/2010 4:56:01 AM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (BORDERS, LAWS and LANGUAGE)
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To: Brugmansian

It is hard to feel any sympathy for a towel head that makes his living growing opium poppies.


20 posted on 05/19/2010 5:01:18 AM PDT by Big_Harry ( Starve the Beast!)
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To: vanilla swirl
Strange things sometimes happen.

Feb 16, 2001- UN drug control officers said The Taliban religious mafia has nearly wiped out Opium production in Afghanistan — once the world’s greatest producer— since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

They started growing poppies when the Taliban were forced out.

21 posted on 05/19/2010 5:08:25 AM PDT by seemoAR
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To: Daisyjane69
No, no, no.

This can't be attributable to the ignorant horticultural practices of Afghanistan's opium farmers, it simply can't. It must be the fault of a super secret conspiracy involving an even more secret cabal of former Haliburton officers.

22 posted on 05/19/2010 5:23:58 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Brugmansian

Obama will offer them citizenship.


23 posted on 05/19/2010 5:25:34 AM PDT by listenhillary (You might be a modern LIBERAL if you read 1984 & said "YEAH! That's the world that I want!")
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To: Brugmansian

a “mysterious blight” indeed


24 posted on 05/19/2010 5:28:44 AM PDT by silverleaf
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To: Brugmansian


This year, it’s proving to be an increasingly difficult task.
First, falling water tables stunted his crop. Then a mysterious blight
emerged to destroy most of what remained.

Shades of the Irish potatoe blight.

I probably shouldn’t be suprised (due to the highly addictive
quality of opiates), but some parts of the Islamosphere do have drug problems.
I can’t remember which of the “-stans” of the former USSR, but I did
see a documentary that featured interviews with some Muslims that
were addicted to opiate products.


25 posted on 05/19/2010 5:39:10 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Brugmansian

Oh, well... Life sucks, Aziz. Your perverted “religion” prohibits it anyway, so just chalk it up to the will of “allah.”


26 posted on 05/19/2010 5:40:49 AM PDT by ScottinVA (RIP to the country I love...)
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To: ScottinVA

Deal with the Devil I suppose


27 posted on 05/19/2010 5:46:05 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Brugmansian

CIA germ warfare?


28 posted on 05/19/2010 5:48:24 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: AppyPappy
Deal with the Devil I suppose

Which, IMO, is the basis of islam (yes, small "i").

29 posted on 05/19/2010 6:28:39 AM PDT by ScottinVA (RIP to the country I love...)
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