Afghanistan has been the largest illicit opium producer in the world, way ahead of Burma (Myanmar), the “Golden Triangle”, and Latin America since 1992, except for the year 2001.
Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the “Golden Crescent”. Opium production in Afghanistan has been increasing since U.S. occupation started in 2001. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan than for coca cultivation in Latin America.
In 2007, 92% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the market originated in Afghanistan. This amounts to an export value of about $4 billion, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest of the revenues going to district officials, insurgents, warlords, and drug traffickers.
In addition to opiates, Afghanistan is also the largest producer of cannabis (mostly as hashish) in the world.