Conflict & Justice

Opium farmers take a hit

Afghan Civil Order Police burn 25 pounds of confiscated opium at the Maiwand District Center in Kandahar Province June 20. Afghan and U.S. troops in Maiwand are focused on drug interdiction as freshly processed opium is smuggled from the poppy fields to markets abroad, where it is refined into heroin.

According to Willie Kruger, who teaches modern farming techniques in Maiwand, 25 pounds of opium is enough to enable a farmer to feed his family for a year.

While the district governor watched, police took pictures of each other by the fire as the vaguely sweet black smoke wrapped around them and dissipated in the hot afternoon wind.