Opium production in Afghanistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
During the Taliban rule, Afghanistan saw a bumper opium crop of 4,500 metric tons in 1999,. However, in July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, collaborating with the United Nations to eradicate heroin production in Afghanistan, declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world's most successful anti-drug campaigns. As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91% from the previous year's estimate of 82,172 hectares. The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this area, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season. The Bush administration paid a 43 million dollar 'eradication' reward payment to the Taliban in 2001.