Opium cultivation in Afghanistan up by 10%

October 24, 2016 12:34 am | Updated December 02, 2016 11:11 am IST - KABUL:

Afghanistan saw a 10 per cent jump in opium cultivation this year because of bumper harvests, collapsing eradication efforts due to growing insecurity and declining international aid to combat drugs, the United Nations (UN) said on Sunday.

Cultivation dropped last year due to drought but it has been on the rise in the past decade, fuelling the Taliban insurgency and spurring a growing crisis of drug addiction despite costly U.S.-led counter-narcotics programmes. “The cultivation has increased by 10 percent this year compared to the same time in 2015 — from 183,000 hectares to 201,000 hectares,” counter-narcotics minister Salamat Azimi told reporters while releasing the UN report. The statistics represent the third-highest level of cultivation in Afghanistan in more than two decades — after a record high in 2014 and 2013.

Ninety-three per cent of the cultivation took place in the southern, western and eastern parts of the country, the report said. The southern restive Province of Helmand remained the country’s top poppy-cultivating province, followed by Badghis, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Nangarhar and Farah — all hotbeds of insurgent activity. — AFP

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.