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.
Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:
- Rumi Spice, About Us, Rumi Spice
- Afghanistan’s Billion Dollar Drug War, Al Jazeera English
- DEA: Heroin Haul Largest Ever in Afghanistan, ‘if Not the World, James Gordon Meek, ABC News
- Poppy – History, DEAMuseum.org
- Opium use booms in Afghanistan, creating a ‘silent tsunami’ of addicted women, Pamela Constable, Washington Post
- Afghanistan’s Opium Production is Through the Roof, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings
- Last Year’s Record Opium Production Threatens Sustainable Development, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime