AFGHANISTAN / OPIUM SURVEY

13-Nov-2014 00:02:37
A new United Nations-backed study said Afghanistan registered record levels of opium poppy cultivation this year, with the illicit crop being cultivated in an estimated 224,000 hectares of land. The “Afghanistan Opium Survey 2014” indicated a seven percent increase in the total land area used by poppy growers, as compared to last year. UNAMA
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STORY: AFGHANISTAN / OPIUM SURVEY
TRT: 2.37
SOURCE: UNAMA
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 NOVEMBER 2014, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN / RECENT
SHOTLIST
RECENT – UNAMA, AFGHANISTAN

1. Various shots, poopy fields
2. Various shots, police destroying poppy fields

12 NOVEMBER 2014, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

3. Wide shot, presser
4. Med shot, tilt up journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC’s Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries:
“Without tackling the problem of drugs seriously no serious economic achievement is possible. To develop Afghanistan, to help Afghanistan with economic development, we have to seriously do something with threats of narcotics. Licit and illicit economy including drugs corruption big economic crimes cannot live together peacefully. If not taken care of, the illicit economy will not let the licit economy develop.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. Close up, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrey Avetisyan UNODC’s Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries:
“We understand with this alarming survey that a new approach to new counter narcotics is needed. The new approach is comprehensive approach an approach that will combine counter narcotics measure with wider economic development, and our experience not only in Afghanistan but in other parts of the world shows that it works. What needed is political will and readiness of government and people, serious counter narcotics measure as a part of wider economic development.”
9. Med shot, journalists
STORYLINE
A new United Nations-backed study said Afghanistan registered record levels of opium poppy cultivation this year, with the illicit crop being cultivated in an estimated 224,000 hectares of land.

The “Afghanistan Opium Survey 2014”, implemented by the Afghan Ministry of Counter-Narcotics in collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), indicated a seven percent increase in the total land area used by poppy growers, as compared to last year.

The increase follows the record highs detailed in the previous year’s report, when cultivation rose by 36 percent (209,000 hectares) and production by almost one half since 2012. Correspondingly, government activities designed to reduce or eliminate opium production resulted in a decrease by more than 60 per cent, to about 2,700 hectares.

The survey identified a clear link between insecurity and the rise in the opium cultivation, with the vast majority (89 per cent) of the opium cultivation taking place in nine Afghan provinces in the southern and western regions, the most insecure in the country.

The report predicts that the surge in cultivation and decrease in eradication may trigger an increase in production by 17 per cent, with yields estimated to reach 6,400 tons in 2014 compared to the previous year's total of 5,500 tons.

According to the UN agency, Afghanistan produces some 90 per cent of the world's illicit opiates, with the number of poppy-free provinces being 15 out of 34.

Earlier this year, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior said the government has a plan to reduce poppy cultivation and opium production by 50 per cent during the next five years and gradually make the country poppy-free in the next decade.

Speaking at press conference in Kabul on Wednesday, the UNODC’s Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, Andrey Avetisyan, called the figures alarming.

He said “without tackling the problem of drugs seriously no serious economic achievement is possible. To develop Afghanistan, to help Afghanistan with economic development, we have to seriously do something with threats of narcotics. Licit and illicit economy including drugs corruption big economic crimes cannot live together peacefully. If not taken care of, the illicit economy will not let the licit economy develop.”

Avetisyan also said “we understand with this alarming survey that a new approach to new counter narcotics is needed. The new approach is comprehensive approach an approach that will combine counter narcotics measure with wider economic development, and our experience not only in Afghanistan but in other parts of the world shows that it works. What needed is political will and readiness of government and people, serious counter narcotics measure as a part of wider economic development.”
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