Afghanistan is the world’s largest supplier of heroin and opium. The Afghan government, United Nations, and other international stakeholders have tried endlessly to prevent Afghan farmers from growing poppy, the plant used to produce heroin, but farmers often find themselves in a situation where they are threatened with violence, or left with little means for income.

Rumi Spice, a company started by US Army veterans, aims to combat this problem by partnering with Afghan farmers to produce saffron, a spice more valuable than gold.

In this episode, we speak with Emily Miller from Rumi Spice about how her company not only dissuades Afghan farmers from participating in the drug trade, but also promotes a sense of entrepreneurship, creates new job opportunities, and links Afghanistan to international gourmet markets.

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About the Author
John is a graduate student in International Affairs at The George Washington University and serves as the Director of Public Relations for Matters of State. Originally from Central Texas, John earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He lived in South Korea for nearly three years, teaching English on Jeju Island before studying Korean in Seoul. John’s academic and professional interests are international security and East Asian affairs.