Opium cultivation in Myanmar drops further, UN says

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Opium Cultivation In Myanmar Drops Further, Un SaysThe area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar dropped for the fourth year in a row to 37,300 hectares in 2018 in the two main producer states, Shan and Kachin, down ten per cent from the 41,000 hectares recorded in 2017, according to the new Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 released  by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on January 11.

The key findings of the report were as follows:

The area under opium poppy cultivation in Shan and Kachin decreased by 12 per cent or 4,900 hectares in 2017 to 36,100 hectares in 2018. In addition, in Chin and Kayah states together, an estimated 1,200 hectares of opium poppy were cultivated.

Reductions have taken place in practically all regions, including North, East and South Shan with decreases of seven per cent, eight per cent and 17 per cent respectively, and Kachin state with 15 per cent. Chin and Kayah states were not surveyed in 2017. Compared to the latest year available, 2015, total opium poppy cultivation in these two states increased by 26 per cent or by 250 hectares in 2018.

The average opium yield remained rather stable at 13.9 kilogrammes per hectare, with a four-per cent increase compared to 2017.

Potential opium production was estimated at 520 metric tonnes in 2018. Shan state, which supplied nearly 90 per cent of the total, remained the main producing region with 461 metric tonnes which is a decrease of eight per cent compared to last year.

Eradication ‐ as reported by the Myanmar government ‐ showed a similar trend to opium poppy cultivation over the last nine years, with increases from 2010 to 2012‐2014 and a decrease since 2015. The eradication numbers for the 2018 growing season (from September 2017 to March 2018) were 26 per cent lower than for the same period in 2017.

Opiate seizures have increased since 2015. For the period January to June 2018, almost 3,000 kilogrammes of seized opiates were reported, already surpassing the total reported seizures for 2017.

With an estimated gross value ranging from $1.1 billion to $2.3 billion, the illegal opiate market in Myanmar represented a notable share of the country’s economy in 2018 of around 1.5 to 3.3 per cent of the 2017 GDP. Of this total, about five per cent, corresponding to an estimated amount of $62 million to $103 million, or 0.4 per cent of the agricultural sector’s value, was earned by farmers cultivating opium.

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The area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar dropped for the fourth year in a row to 37,300 hectares in 2018 in the two main producer states, Shan and Kachin, down ten per cent from the 41,000 hectares recorded in 2017, according to the new Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 released  by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on January 11. The key findings of the report were as follows: The area under opium poppy cultivation in Shan and Kachin decreased by 12 per cent or 4,900 hectares in 2017 to 36,100 hectares in 2018. In addition, in Chin...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Opium Cultivation In Myanmar Drops Further, Un SaysThe area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar dropped for the fourth year in a row to 37,300 hectares in 2018 in the two main producer states, Shan and Kachin, down ten per cent from the 41,000 hectares recorded in 2017, according to the new Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 released  by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on January 11.

The key findings of the report were as follows:

The area under opium poppy cultivation in Shan and Kachin decreased by 12 per cent or 4,900 hectares in 2017 to 36,100 hectares in 2018. In addition, in Chin and Kayah states together, an estimated 1,200 hectares of opium poppy were cultivated.

Reductions have taken place in practically all regions, including North, East and South Shan with decreases of seven per cent, eight per cent and 17 per cent respectively, and Kachin state with 15 per cent. Chin and Kayah states were not surveyed in 2017. Compared to the latest year available, 2015, total opium poppy cultivation in these two states increased by 26 per cent or by 250 hectares in 2018.

The average opium yield remained rather stable at 13.9 kilogrammes per hectare, with a four-per cent increase compared to 2017.

Potential opium production was estimated at 520 metric tonnes in 2018. Shan state, which supplied nearly 90 per cent of the total, remained the main producing region with 461 metric tonnes which is a decrease of eight per cent compared to last year.

Eradication ‐ as reported by the Myanmar government ‐ showed a similar trend to opium poppy cultivation over the last nine years, with increases from 2010 to 2012‐2014 and a decrease since 2015. The eradication numbers for the 2018 growing season (from September 2017 to March 2018) were 26 per cent lower than for the same period in 2017.

Opiate seizures have increased since 2015. For the period January to June 2018, almost 3,000 kilogrammes of seized opiates were reported, already surpassing the total reported seizures for 2017.

With an estimated gross value ranging from $1.1 billion to $2.3 billion, the illegal opiate market in Myanmar represented a notable share of the country’s economy in 2018 of around 1.5 to 3.3 per cent of the 2017 GDP. Of this total, about five per cent, corresponding to an estimated amount of $62 million to $103 million, or 0.4 per cent of the agricultural sector’s value, was earned by farmers cultivating opium.

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