Afghanistan: Scorpion venom farmed for profit and headed for export

A team of researchers have produced Afghanistan’s first-ever batch of licensed scorpion venom and are preparing to export the product to the US, according to a local official. On a visit to the facility in Jebrial, the capital of Herat Province on Friday, so-called “scorpion farmers” showed the methods used to extract venom from one of the planet’s most dangerous creatures. The scorpions are... Еще fed on a diet of little worms and have to be milked by hand. One scorpion produces, at the most, just two milligrammes of venom at a time. According to the farm’s head Darwesh Haji, the facility has managed to extract 300-400 grammes so far. Scorpion venom is highly prized on the international market, especially in the US and Europe, where the product can reportedly fetch up to $39 million a gallon — placing it amongst the most expensive liquids in the world. The venom contains various toxins, which can be used in medical research for cancer and malaria treatments. Scorpions have also traditionally been smoked and used as a food source in many countries. The chief executive of Herat’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khalil Yarmand has high hopes for the business, regarding it as a valuable export, and a prime investment opportunity. The farm is an attempt to regulate the industry, which in recent years has experienced a growth in the unregistered trade of scorpions.
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