After 13 years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan’s Opium Cultivation Hits Record Levels

from Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36 per cent in 2013, a
record high,
according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey released
today in Kabul by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UNODC.
Meanwhile, opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by almost a half
since 2012.

Calling the news “sobering”, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of
UNODC, stressed that this situation poses a threat to health, stability
and development in Afghanistan and beyond:  “What is needed is an
integrated, comprehensive response to the drug problem.
Counter-narcotics efforts must be an integral part of the security,
development and institution-building agenda”.

The area under cultivation rose to 209,000 ha from the previous
year’s total of 154,000 ha, higher than the peak of 193,000 hectares
reached in 2007. Also, two provinces, Balkh and Faryab, lost their
poppy-free status, leaving 15 provinces poppy-free this year compared
with 17 last year.

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