The poppy field crops are coming into harvest about now. In 2007, 93% of the opium in the world market came from Afghanistan. This comes to be about $64 billion with less than a quarter going to farmers, and the rest going to district officials, insurgents, warlords and drug traffickers.
Go figure that! You’re a farmer, work yer butt off only to have some armed thugs come take your years work and pay you pennies. With the integration of new crops (wheat) etc, we are changing the above.
The opium is transported to laboratories where it is purified into morphine. Ten pounds of raw opium yields one pound of morphine. The morphine is converted to heroin, which is several times stronger and more addictive than morphine.
The heroin is smuggled into the United States where it is diluted down to between 5% and 20% purity and sold on the street.
Five hundred dollars worth of raw opium is required to make a little less than one pound of heroin. By the time it is sold on the street, the pound of heroin is worth about $200,000. The original farmer that worked all year to produce this, will get pennies.