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Afghanistan turmoil

Afghanistan poppy farmers reap possible last windfall after ban

Taliban allows harvest but vows strict enforcement, promises alternatives

An Afghan policeman destroys poppies during a previous campaign against narcotics in 2017.   © Reuters

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- The Taliban's move to ban poppy cultivation this month has created a temporary windfall for Afghanistan's opium producers and sellers, though many fear incomes are about to dry up once the authorities get serious about enforcing the prohibition.

Farmers currently working the fields in the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand say that despite the ban, Taliban officials have allowed them to continue cultivation for this season. Sellers are even rejoicing over what they say is a threefold price increase. 

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