The Taliban say they are at war against the Afghan narco-economy, the country’s main source of resources that they also take advantage of. But in his huge southern cannabis plantation, Ghulam Ali knows nothing will change.
Surrounded by small ocher mountains, its countryside is perfectly visible off the main road in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province.
On more than three hectares, cannabis plants are the height of a man, from very dark green to yellow, with a sour smell.
“This is the most profitable plantation, more than any fruit and more than opium that needs more investment and chemicals,” explains Ali, 30, with laughing blue eyes and a black turban.
For 20 years, her family of about twenty has lived in a small house made of dry earth. Rather modest, but above Afghan rural standards. All the children go to school and at harvest time the family calls in outside workers.
“It’s very easy for me to grow up here in this climate,” reveals Ali, looking at her four children and making affectionate gestures to them.
Every morning at dawn, before prayer, he walks through all its plants.
In a month, the harvest will take place. The plant will be sieved, pressed and heated to extract an oil. Then, it will be transformed into a black paste: hashish.
The famous “Afghan” attracted numerous caravans full of hippies in the 1960s and 1970s, who later exported varieties and techniques to the rest of the world, from Lebanon to the Moroccan Rif.
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