Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The plight of Afghanistan's opium brides

 

From Deutsche Welles

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 brides."

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