June 25th, 2012
11:15 AM ET
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In several Afghan provinces the fight to curb the growing of opium poppies seems to be a losing battle.

In 2011 a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime survey said opium poppy cultivation rose by 7% overall from the prior year. Opium poppy has been one of the main sources of funding for the Taliban especially since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Poppy cultivation is expected to grow partly because the opium poppy's prices are rising and because farmers are having a hard time deriving as much profit from alternative crops.

But one Afghan province is showing real progress in doing just that. The alternative crop is the world's most expensive spice, saffron.

Farmers in Herat, Western Afghanistan, say not only does saffron fetch more profit than poppy but they have also found an enticing way to market it. It is packaged in beautiful little tins or what look like perfume bottles. The farmers are hoping the government will do even more to help Afghan saffron become a known commodity worldwide.

Read - Afghans ditch opium for spice

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Filed under: Big Business • Business and Farming News • Farms • Human Rights • News

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. sam

    That's great for the reduction of poppies but now the Saffron will fund terrorist organizations.

    June 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  2. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I thought it was the main funding of the Taliban since the war with the Soviets. Hmm. I better check my history.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
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