Opium production surges in Myanmar (poppy field map)

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Poppy fieldThe United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated in its annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey that Myanmar’s opium production will rise 26 per cent in 2013, with the country producing 870 metric tonnes of the drug, remaining the world’s second-largest grower after Afghanistan, which will be churning out 5,500 metric tonnes, a 49 per cent rise. Laos produced some 23 metric tonnes, and Thailand 4 tonnes.

Official efforts to stamp out opium production in Myanmar were unsuccessful because poor farmers don’t have alternative ways to make a living, the UN agency said on December 18. Rising demand in Asia for illicit drugs has also have fueled Myanmar’s output increase. Improving infrastructure is also facilitating opportunities for criminal trafficking.

“The organized criminal networks that benefit from Southeast Asia’s illicit drug trade are well positioned to take advantage of economic regional integration,” UNODC representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Jeremy Douglas said in a statement.

“Surveys of farmers in poppy-growing villages indicate that the money made from poppy cultivation remains an essential part of family income. Villagers threatened with food insecurity and poverty need sustainable alternatives, or they will continue out of desperation to turn to growing this cash crop,” he added.

Myanmar in 1999 declared a plan to eliminate illicit crop production by 2014, and production slipped to a low of 315 metric tonnes in 2006, but since then has been increasing. The report recalled that Myanmar in the 1980s had been the world’s largest producer of illicit opium. Although Afghanistan replaced it in 1991 as the largest producer, Myanmar’s output climbed to a high of 1,600 metric tonnes in 1996.

See the poppy field map in Myanmar:

Myanmar poppy fields

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated in its annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey that Myanmar’s opium production will rise 26 per cent in 2013, with the country producing 870 metric tonnes of the drug, remaining the world’s second-largest grower after Afghanistan, which will be churning out 5,500 metric tonnes, a 49 per cent rise. Laos produced some 23 metric tonnes, and Thailand 4 tonnes.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Poppy fieldThe United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated in its annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey that Myanmar’s opium production will rise 26 per cent in 2013, with the country producing 870 metric tonnes of the drug, remaining the world’s second-largest grower after Afghanistan, which will be churning out 5,500 metric tonnes, a 49 per cent rise. Laos produced some 23 metric tonnes, and Thailand 4 tonnes.

Official efforts to stamp out opium production in Myanmar were unsuccessful because poor farmers don’t have alternative ways to make a living, the UN agency said on December 18. Rising demand in Asia for illicit drugs has also have fueled Myanmar’s output increase. Improving infrastructure is also facilitating opportunities for criminal trafficking.

“The organized criminal networks that benefit from Southeast Asia’s illicit drug trade are well positioned to take advantage of economic regional integration,” UNODC representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Jeremy Douglas said in a statement.

“Surveys of farmers in poppy-growing villages indicate that the money made from poppy cultivation remains an essential part of family income. Villagers threatened with food insecurity and poverty need sustainable alternatives, or they will continue out of desperation to turn to growing this cash crop,” he added.

Myanmar in 1999 declared a plan to eliminate illicit crop production by 2014, and production slipped to a low of 315 metric tonnes in 2006, but since then has been increasing. The report recalled that Myanmar in the 1980s had been the world’s largest producer of illicit opium. Although Afghanistan replaced it in 1991 as the largest producer, Myanmar’s output climbed to a high of 1,600 metric tonnes in 1996.

See the poppy field map in Myanmar:

Myanmar poppy fields

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