Majority of the areas that have pistachio fields in western Badghis province are under the control of Taliban that managed to forcibly collect nearly 30,000 tons of pistachio, said provincial officials.
“Pistachio production in Badghis is estimated at 30,000 tons annually,” Badghis agriculture director Hafizullah Benish told TOLOnews.
This year, the Taliban has earned $40 to $50 million USD from pistachio fields, he added.
In addition, the provincial council members also acknowledged the above statements and said the Taliban insurgents purchase arms and explosives from pistachio money.
“The insurgents get benefits from the areas they control. They meet their financial needs through pistachio earnings,” said Baha-uddin Qadesi, head of Badghis Provincial Council.
Furthermore, the local officials claimed that the militants also destroy pistachio forests while battling the security forces.