Decline in production of Afghan raw opium predicted

A decrease in production of raw opium could lead to decline in heroin output.

Dushanbe: A considerable decrease in the production of raw opium in Afghanistan has been predicted this year, which could lead to the decline in the output of heroin, Tajikistan`s National Drug Control Agency (AKN) has said.

According to the AKN`s Khalimdzhon Makhmudov information, among the factors contributing to the decrease in the production of Afghan heroin are better work by Afghan law-enforcement bodies in fighting drug trafficking, and cooperation with neighbouring countries.

As a result of such cooperation, more than 2,000 hectares of poppy were destroyed.

Also, Afghan drug syndicates may fall short of one quarter of profits this year because an unknown fungus attacked poppy plantations.

In 2009, Afghanistan harvested 6,900 tons of poppy.

However, the areas under poppy have not shrunk significantly, because drug cartels have expanded the areas sowed with cannabis which is used in the production of hashish and marijuana.

Experts are concerned over the growing prices of drugs, in the first place opium.

Its price has jumped by almost three times in the past two or three years, exceeding USD 160 per kilogram.

International experts repeatedly emphasised that the proceeds from this criminal business are used to support terrorist organisations, including al Qaeda.

Deputy AKN director Baisiddin Azamatov stressed at the news conference, "Tajikistan is interested in strengthening cooperation and interaction with CIS states, in the first place with Russia and EU countries and in fighting the drug threat from Afghanistan.”


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