Opium production at record world levels
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.