Opium Production Down 48 Percent: Survey

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics with the cooperation of the United Nations Counter Narcotics and Crime Office shows that the production of opium in Afghanistan has decreased by 48 percent against last year.

The survey shows that areas under poppy cultivation this year totaled 180,000 hectares which shows a 19 percent decrease compared to last year.

The surveys also indicates that the destruction of poppy fields has increased by 40 percent.

The survey estimated that in 2015 the cultivation of poppy fields in Afghanistan totaled 3,300 metric tons against last year’s 6,400 metric tons.

The survey also reports a decrease of 36 percent in poppy fields harvested this year.

“We have appreciation programs for good performances and alternative livelihoods for farmers in some areas in Kandahar. We also have programs for Takhar, Badakhshan and other provinces,” said Salam Azimi the counter narcotics minister.

The survey also indicates that more than 3,700 hectares of land has been cleared this year of poppies in the country, compared to last year’s 2,600 hectares – which shows a 40 percent decrease.

“From 1st of March until 7th of October this year the deputy officials of the ministry have seized more than 45.6 tons of different types of drugs and alcohol during 1,851 operations and 1,689 drug traffickers have been arrested,” said Baz Mohammad Ahmadi the deputy minister.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest illegal drug producer. In addition the number of drug addicts in the country is steadily increasing with recent studies stating there are three million addicts in the country.

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