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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Afghanistan opium production set to rise 61%: UN

American Scofflaw

Opium production in Afghanistan is set to rise by nearly two-thirds this year, with farmers’ revenues from the crop set to soar compared to last year’s disease-hit harvest, the UN said Tuesday.

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s illegal opiates from its mammoth crop that continues despite an internationally-funded eradication drive and funds much of the Taliban’s insurgent activity.

The UN said that cultivation of the poppy crop reached 131,000 hectares in 2011, seven percent higher than in 2010 “due to insecurity and high prices”, in its annual opium survey released by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

And with the crop yield per hectare up markedly from last year’s blight-hit harvest, overall production would potentially rise by 61 percent on last year, the report said.

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