Report shows rise in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan

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Opium harvest in a poppy field in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. Raw opium is cooked before being suitable for smoking. Photo: IRIN/Manoocher Deghati

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached a record high in 2013, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the country's Ministry of Counter Narcotics.

It finds cultivation rose by 36 per cent this year and that production reached 5,500 tonnes, an increase by nearly half since 2012.

Meanwhile, the area under cultivation increased from 154,000 hectares in 2012 to 209,000 this year.

With international forces set to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedetov described the report as a warning and an urgent call to action.

He said the situation poses a threat to health, stability and development in the country.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 54″

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