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Libyan Newswire

Opium production increases in Golden Triangle

8 Dec 2014

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A member of the newly trained Afghan National Police (ANP) patrols through a poppy field in Mian Poshteh © Kate Holt/IRIN

Opium poppy cultivation continues at high levels in the so-called Golden Triangle, which includes parts of Myanmar and Laos, according to a UN report out on Monday.

The report, by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that Myanmar remains South-East Asia’s top opium producer and the world’s second largest after Afghanistan.

The report says thati in 2014 Myanmar and Laos produced an estimated 762 tonnes of opium most of which was refined into about 76 tonnes of heroin.

The drug was then trafficked to markets in neighbouring countries and outside the region.

Jeremy Douglas is UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia and the Pacific.

“Opium is essentially stable in what is commonly called ‘The Golden Triangle’, Myanmar and Laos, where the two countries come together and opium is produced. However, it’s stabilizing at very high levels. In Myanmar it’s essentially exactly where it was last year, at 63,000 hectares or so and in Laos it has risen slightly, basically a couple of thousand extra hectares. So we have high levels of production of opium in The Golden Triangle basically.” (29″)

Mr. Douglas said UNODC is working with the governments of Laos and Myanmar to provide alternative sources of income for opium poppy farmers such as the production of coffee, fruits and vegetables.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″