While opium trade might be lucrative for some of those involved, many
find themselves at the losing end. Daughters of farmers who find
themselves desperate and indebted are used as little more than currency.
To provide for their families, many Afghan farmers turn to the relatively lucrative practise of poppy cultivation.
Initial capital costs for items such as seeds, can be high. Many are
forced to take loans from unscrupulous lenders, the drug lords and the
Taliban among them.
But growing the poppy plant is no definite route to success. There are
risks. While the government's eradication program may not be
far-reaching, those farmers that do feel the brunt are left with bare
earth and no way to settle their debts.
Some resort to bartering their daughters in marriage to settle the
loans. These daughters are known as the "loan brides" or even "opium