Evidence from cannabis resin seizures have long pointed to Afghanistan as one of the main producer of the drug, similar in magnitude only to Morocco. Information collected by UNODC and the Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) on cannabis cultivation in past years with specific studies8 and during the Annual Opium Poppy Surveys, confirmed the existence of cannabis cultivation in many provinces of Afghanistan. However, a systematic survey to precisely estimate the area under cannabis cultivation and production, was never undertaken before 2009.

Previous attempts to estimate cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan were based on assumed seizure rates and yield information from other countries. This information indicated the existence of several tens of thousands of hectares of cannabis cultivation.

New research is presented in this report, based on a survey with village level interviews with farmers and headmen, yield studies and satellite image interpretation.