"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 11 2020





Аuthor Denis P. ELAGIN
Post-graduate student, Lecturer, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University); Leading Research Fellow, Institute for Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Abstract:   In this article we examine increasing opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan since 2001. First, we discuss the historical background for the emergence and spread of opium production in Afghanistan in the 20th century and its current spatial distribution. Then we proceed with our statistical analysis. Our results show that the intensity of violent conflict (which we proxy by the number of military casualties in a calendar year) and the farm gate price of opium are positively correlated with the increase in opium cultivation. We find that a 1% increase in conflict intensity leads to 0,2% increase in the land under opium poppy cultivation the following season. Given the magnitude of the increase in the intensity of conflict in Afghanistan in 2010s these effects seem to be very significant. Our findings are in line with existing research on the topic. Higher conflict intensity and the expansion of the conflict zone may create conditions, where opium cultivation is a low-risk activity and may be preferable to the production of other agricultural goods, with southern regions of Afghanistan being particularly affected both by higher conflict intensity and opium production. However, we note that our analysis is constrained by data quality and availability and should be viewed as capturing some of the interconnection between the variables of our choice, but not strictly causal.
Keywords: Afghanistan, economy of Afghanistan, opium poppy, drug production
Pages 48-55