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Afghan Poppy Harvest at Record High

Afghan Poppy Harvest at Record HighAfghan Poppy Harvest at Record High

The cultivation of opium poppy in Afghanistan has risen by 7% reaching a record high in 2014, Afghan media reported on Wednesday citing UN experts.

The total area of the cultivation has increased from 209,000 hectares to 224,000 hectares, which means that opium poppy farming that provides funding for the Taliban is booming in all parts of the country, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report quoted by the Afghan media.

The UNODC said in its 2014 Afghanistan Opium Survey that opium production could “potentially increase 17%, with yields estimated to reach 6,400 tons in 2014 compared to the previous year’s total of 5,500 tons.”

According to the UNODC, Afghanistan produces some 90% of the world’s illicit opiates worth some $850 million, or 4% of the country’s estimated GDP.

The Unites States has spent $7.6 billion to combat opium production in the war-torn country since 2001.

  Heroin

The chief of Russia’s federal drug control service FSKN in August pointed to the major role heroin production in Afghanistan plays in the political and economic destabilization in Russia.

“I must say that the scale of narcotic drugs production in Afghanistan, which has surged up since the expansion of NATO’s military activities in the region, has long become a dominating factor for political destabilization in Russia and for the destruction of its economic potential,” Viktor Ivanov said.

According to his estimates, the production of heroin in Afghanistan this year may be up to 800 tons.

Financialtribune.com