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UN: Afghanistan Is World's Largest Hashish Producer

Staffan de Mistura
The United Nations says Afghanistan is not only the world's leader in opium production but also the biggest producer of hashish.

In a report issued in Vienna today, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated the annual output of the hashish resin, which is made from cannabis, at between 1,500 and 3,500 tons, with a total value of up to $94 million.

UN special envoy for Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura, speaking at a news conference in Kabul today, said cannabis was being produced in 17 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

"Cannabis has been growing in many parts of this country -- 17 out of 34 provinces -- and it's producing, in theory, quite an income," he said. "It's about $3,900 [per hectare], I understand, vis-a-vis the opium production of $3,600 [per hectare]."

Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of UNODC, said "all drugs in Afghanistan, whether opium or cannabis, are taxed by those who control the territory, providing an additional source of revenue for insurgents."

compiled from agency reports