Myanmar’s Opium Crops in Decline as Demand for Methamphetamine Increases

Myanmar destroyed 3,533 hectares of opium poppies in 2017, down from 13,450 hectares in 2015.

BANGKOK  – A “dramatic” drop in opium cultivation in Myanmar underscored a regional boom in demand for illegal synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine, which many Asian countries are struggling to combat, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday.

The area under opium poppy cultivation dropped by a quarter between 2015 and 2017, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report released on Wednesday.

“The drop in opium production is welcome, but it is not a victory,” Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC’s chief in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, told Reuters.

“It appears to confirm that the shift in the regional drug market to synthetic drugs is well underway, and that the opium economy is being disrupted.”

Opium poppies are a large source of adequate income for many farmers in Myanmar , which is Southeast Asia’s poorest country.

China and…

Original published: 2017-12-06 20:09:47 Read the full Bangkok News here

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