Opium pro­duc­tion at record world lev­els

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

ALALABAD | Afghanistan’s opium pro­duc­tion surged this year to record lev­els, de­spite in­ter­na­tional ef­forts over the past decade to wean the coun­try off the nar­cotics trade, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased Wednes­day by the United Na­tion’s drug con­trol agency.

The har­vest this past May re­sulted in a stag­ger­ing 6,060 tons of opium, 49 per­cent higher than last year and more than the com­bined out­put of the rest of the world. Even Afghan prov­inces with some past suc­cesses in com­bat­ing poppy cul­ti­va­tion saw those trends re­versed, ac­cord­ing to this year’s an­nual U.N. Of­fice on Drugs and Crime.

The with­drawal of for­eign troops from Afghanistan next year is likely to make mat­ters even worse, said JeanLuc Lemahieu, the U.N. anti-drug re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Kabul.

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