The ravages that were brought by decades of ferocious and continual warfare have left Afghanistan one of the poorest nations in the world (Ayub & Kuovo, 2008; Schetter, 2002). Barajas, Howard, Miner, Sartin and Silver (2006) reported the following statistics:
In 2002, GDP in Afghanistan was about $4 billion with a population of about 22 million. This equated to a GDP per capita of less than $200 per year. Since that time, the economy has grown steadily and GDP increased to more than $5.7 billion and $228 per capita in 2004(Asian Development Bank, 2005b). In 2002, the economy grew at 28.6%, but growth rates slowed to 15.7% in 2003 and to 7.5% in 2004(Asian Development Bank, 2005a). The slowdown in Afghanistan’s economy is attributed to the drought in 2004 that severely curtailed agricultural output. (Barajas, et al, 2006, p. 27)
The economy of Afghanistan has been based “on local subsistence agriculture comprised primarily of cereal products and almonds, beans, lentils, apricots and grapes” (Emadi, 2005, p. 196). However, the poppy cultivation represents the chief agricultural product which supplied 75% world’s opium supply (Barajas, et al., 2006). While the Taliban banned poppy production and the opium trade — largely as a response to U.N. pressure — it was not particularly effective in curbing the industry (Schetter, 2002).
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