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Afghan`s opium cultivation may decline this year: UN

Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:26

United Nations: The UN drug and crime division has in a new report found that Afghanistan`s opium cultivation has stabilised and its production could decline this year.

Opium is the raw material for heroine and is said to be a source of revenue for the Taliban.

"There is a good chance that Afghanistan will produce less opium this year," said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa.

The number of provinces that are poppy-free will remain stable this year and can even rise, according to the UNODC.

There are about 20 poppy free provinces in the war-torn country out of which three have resumed growing some poppy but five other provinces are expected to stop.

"I urge the Afghan government and the international community to focus special attention on the eight provinces where opium cultivation is negligible, though not poppy-free," Costa said.
"With appropriate local community-inspired measures -- such as shura-driven campaigns, governor-led eradication and development assistance -- three quarters of the country (25
out of 34 provinces) could become poppy-free in the near future," he added.
The report is based on farmers` intentions at the time of planting and the UN stated that low yields had led farmers to decide against planting opium.


First Published: Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:26
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