The Islamic  Republic  of  Afghanistan, in the third world is one of the poor country of about 29,928,987 Population. It consist of   Sunni  Muslim  80%,  Shi'a  Muslim  19%, other 1%.  There  ar  different  tribes  and   ethinicity  in Afghanistan  in  which  major  are  Pashtun  42%,  Tajik  27%,  Hazara  9%,  Uzbek  9%,  minor  ethnic  groups  (Chahar  Aimaks,  Turkmen,  Baloch,  and  others).

Darri  and  Pashto  is  the  official  languages  of afghanistan  and  after  US  troops  English  is  the  major  language  in Afghanistan.  The  capital  of Afghanistan  is  Kabol  and  the  president  is  Hamid  Karzai.

In  this  topic  the  discussion  is  on the Economic  development  and  the  urbanization  of  the  country  and  the  impact  of  war  on  Afghanistan.  The  topic  will  start  from  the  introduction  of  afghanistan  and  discussing  the  impact  of  different  facotors  faced  by  afghanistan,  the  main  issue  relatedt  o  afghanistan,  the  poverty  allivaiation  and  the  opium  is  also  one  of  the  major  issue  of  the  country.

The  current  basic  economy  of  afghanistan  is  currently  on  US  and  allied  country  aids,  the  opium  prodcution,  gas  and  patrolium,  gems  stone  and  other  resources.  The  people  of  afghanistan  are  experts  in  carpets  crafting  and  other  hanicrafting  and  major  people  of  afghnistan  depends  on  caprpets  industry  and  its  export.

The Country Afghanistan:

The  name  Afghanistan  is  derived  from   the  word  afghan,  which  is  the  main  population  ethinicity  of  the  country.  This  credit  goes  to  Ahmad  Shah  Durrani  who  unified  the  major  tribes  and  founded  Afghanistan  in  1747.

Afghanistan  is  about  a  bit  smaller  then  the  Texas.  Its bordered  on  the  north  with  Turkmenistan,  Uzbekistan,  and  Tajikistan,  on  the  extreme  northeast  by  China,  on  the  east  and  south  with  Pakistan,  and  by  Iran  on  the  west.

The  country  is  split  east  to  west  by  the  Hindu  Kush  mountain  ranges,  rising  in  the  east  to  heights  of  24,000  ft  (7,315  m).  With  the  exception  of  the  southwest,  most  of  the  country  is  covered  by  high  snow-capped  mountains  and  is  traversed  by  deep  valleys.


Afghanistan  came  into  its  independence  from  Britain  in  1919,  has  been  a  chaotic  one.  From  the  effects  of  the  Soviet  invasion  in  1979,  and  the  10  year  war  between  Soviet  troops  and  the  Mujahideens,  to  the  struggles  during  the  1990's  following  the  retreat  of  the  Soviets  to  the  recent  invasion  by  American  and  Coalition  troops.

Afghanistan  is  a  country  torn  apart  by  war.  Its  capital  Kabul,  which  has  been  admired  throughout  its  long  history,  stands  in  rubble.  Not  even  the  most  basic  infrastructure  is  left  standing  in  much  of  the  country.

As  a  result  of  the  2001  invasion  the  Taliban,  which  had  controlled  Afghanistan  since  1996,  was  deposed  and  in  2004  the  country  elected  President  Hamid  Karzai  as  its  leader.  Its  parliamentary  elections  are  scheduled  to  be  held  in  September  2005.

Afghanistan  is  slowly  emerging  from  23  years  of  conflict.  There  continue  to  be  regular  attacks  on  Coalition  forces  in  Afghanistan.  Warlords and resistance groups such  as  the  Mujahideen  and  al-Qaeda  maintain  strongholds  throughout  the  country  and  do  not  accept  the  current  government  as  legitimate.

The  result  of  this  is  often  the  death  of  innocent  people  caught  in  the  crossfire.  At  this  point  thousands  of  Afghan  refugees  remain  in  areas  of  Pakistan  and  Iran,  and  up  to  200,000  internally  displaced  Afghans  continue  to  live  in  camps  within  Afghanistan,  dependant  on  aid.

Economy Overview:

Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflicts. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector in minor, and service sector growth.

Real GDP growth exceeded 8% in 2006 that is basically depends on the assistance of the donors. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and trade with neighboring countries.

Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth.

It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current level, among the lowest in the world.

The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $24 billion at three donors' conferences since 2002, Kabul will need to overcome a number of challenges.

Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade generate roughly $3 billion in illicit economic activity and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy concerns. Other long-term challenges include: budget sustainability, job creation, corruption, government capacity, and rebuilding war torn infrastructure.

Afghanistan is world's largest producer of opium; cultivation dropped 48% to 107,400 hectares in 2005; better weather and lack of widespread disease returned opium yields to normal levels, meaning potential opium production declined by only 10% to 4,475 metric tons; if the entire poppy crop were processed, it is estimated that 526 metric tons of heroin could be processed; many narcotics-processing labs throughout the country;

drug trade is a source of instability and some antigovernment groups profit from the trade; significant domestic use of opiates; 80-90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghan opium; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through informal financial networks; source of hashish

Population Issues:

As Afghanistan is war affected and most of its population is migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan and Iran.  Pakistan, with UN and other international assistance, repatriated 2.3 million Afghan refugees with less than a million still remaining, many at their own choosing.

Agriculture Reforms and Rural Changes:

Afghanistan is a country of rugged mountains and arid plains, which become deserts in the southwest. Agricultural production is constrained by an almost total dependence on erratic winter snows and spring rains for water; irrigation is primitive.

The main agriculture products are wheat, corn, barley, rice, cotton, fruit, nuts, karakul pelts, wool and mutton. The economy has traditionally been dominated by agriculture, which accounted for 52 percent of the GDP and employed around 66 percent of the workforce in 2002. Relatively little use is made of machines, chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Years of fighting left former cultivated lands uncultivated and yields have almost dropped by 35 percent leading to persistent food shortages and an increase of food imports. Four consecutive recent years of drought brought a food crisis to Afghanistan.

Official statistics have been nonexistent since the fall of the government in 1992. One of the largest sectors of the economy is opium poppy cultivation and processing. According to UNDCP, in 2002 crop year Afghanistan accounted for three-quarters of the world’s heroine production.

At present, only six percent of the whole fifteen percent of usable agricultural land in Afghanistan is under cultivation. In the past twenty years, the area of agricultural land has drastically decreased. If we relate the net loss of agricultural products to the loss of agricultural land, we reach to an average annual loss of 3.5% of net agricultural products since 1978.

If we consider some of this decrease to be resulted from temporary degradation of land or loss of harvest due to war, in the past two decades we lost thirty to thirty five percent of our agricultural land and pastures.

Basic Agriculture and Political Economy:

Forests in Afghanistan occupy a very fragile mountain ecosystem and once lost, may not be restored ever. Over the course of these twenty years, the central governments of  Afghanistan lost control over them and local commanders hold control of the forests.

The bad news is that economic benefit of clear cutting overwhelmed most of these commanders and in this way wide areas of the forests were either clear-cut or partially cut to the extent that restoration of them may take more than a century, if possible at all.

Afghanistan in 2000 was the world's largest producer of opium, used to produce the drug heroin. The total opium production for 1998 was estimated at 2,102 metric tons against a total of 2,804 metric tons in 1997.

This reduction in the level of poppy production was due to heavy and continuous rains and hailstorms in some of the major poppy producing provinces. However, in 1999, the country produced a staggering 4,600 metric tons.

The rotting economy forced farmers to grow the opium poppies as a cash crop, and this practice was supported by the Taliban until 2001, because it provided farmers with money that they would otherwise not be able to earn.

However, in 2001, the Taliban ordered the country's farmers to stop growing poppies following an edict by Mullah Omar, the supreme religious leader, that opium cultivation is not permitted under Islam.

While analysts contend that the reason had more to do with convincing the United Nations and the international community to lift sanctions, officials from various countries argued that this was done in order to boost the market price for heroin. Heroin still flowed from Afghanistan, only at a much higher price after the Taliban's ban on opium growing, the price shot from $44 to $700 per kilo.

This caused speculation that the Taliban had stockpiled a large supply of the drug, and the higher proceeds allowed them further funding for military and government operations. With the September 2001 attacks on the United States, opium production was believed to be resumed.

Alternative to Puppy Crop: Afghanistan could become an exporter of organically produced nuts and raisins. The conditions for farmers to produce need to be created and the niche-markets for their products have to be explored, meeting required international product standards. Many tree nurseries need to be restored to respond to a growing demand for planting materials. The construction of small irrigation dams is important where farmers are facing restricted water availability, for example, in Kandahar, where the main water supply reservoir is silted up after many years of drought. This has degraded once-thriving orchards in the area. The rehabilitation of irrigation systems should be accompanied by providing agricultural inputs, improved seeds, creating storage facilities and marketing opportunities. FAO also proposes to intensify horticultural production by training orchard farmers in post-harvest technologies and in managing vegetable storage facilities.