11/13/13, "Afghanistan opium harvest at record high - UNODC," BBC
"Afghan opium cultivation has reached a record level, with more than 200,000 hectares planted with the poppy for the first time, the United Nations says.
Most of the rise was in Helmand province, where British troops are preparing to withdraw. One of the main reasons the UK sent troops to Helmand was to cut opium production.
The head of the UN office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Kabul, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, said that production was likely to rise again next year, amid uncertainty over the withdrawal of most foreign troops and the presidential election.
He said that the illegal economy was taking over in importance from legitimate business, and that prices remained high since there was a ready availability of cash in Afghanistan because of aid....
Cultivation has been rising yearly since 2010 despite government efforts to eradicate the crop.
More farmers have been trying to grow the poppy as the price of opium has been rising. Afghanistan produces more than 90% of the world's opium."
Comment: It's gratifying that billions of US taxpayer dollars funneled to Afghanistan every month are doing some good.