UN Office on Drugs and Crime: Opium cultivation in Afghanistan down by a fifth

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 28, 2008

News release: “UNODC’s Afghanistan Opium Survey 2008 shows a 19% decrease in opium cultivation to 157,000 hectares, compared to the record harvest of 193,000 in 2007. Owing to a higher yield of 48.8 kg/ha (up from 42.5 kg in 2007), opium production has dropped less dramatically, down 6% from 8,200 to 7,700.

According to the report, the number of opium-free provinces has increased by almost 50% since last year, from 13 to 18. Indeed, 98% of the opium is grown in just seven provinces in the south-west (Hilmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Farah, Nimroz, and to a lesser extent Daykundi and Zabul), where there are permanent Taliban settlements and organized crime groups profit from insecurity.”

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