Opium production in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos rose by 22 per cent in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Production has now been increasing for seven consecutive years, says Southeast Asia opium survey 2013, and rose by more than 25 per cent in Myanmar, the world’s second largest grower of opium poppies after Afghanistan. ‘Villagers threatened with food insecurity and poverty need sustainable economic alternatives or they will continue, out of desperation, to grow opium as a cash crop,’ said UNODC Myanmar country manager Jason Eligh. Afghanistan also saw a record high opium crop in 2013, up by 36 per cent on the previous year as farmers attempt to ‘shore up their assets’ prior to this year’s planned withdrawal of international troops (DDN, December 2013, page 5).
Southeast Asia opium survey 2013 at www.unodc.org