Production Of Opium Continues To Rise in Afghanistan: UN

Illegal production of opium is on the rise in Afghanistan, the United Nations said in its report today (Wednesday). 

Opium production has been increased by 8 percent in 2021 compared to last year as opium from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan continues to dominate the international black market.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that Afghanistan harvested 6,800 tons of opium in 2021, as the country remains a hub for the global drug trade, and responsible for nearly 90 percent of global drug production.

Income from the Afghan opiates has amounted to between $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion so far this year domestically, the report said, adding “much larger sums are accrued along illicit drug supply chains outside Afghanistan.”

According to the UNODC findings, around one-tenth of the Afghan economy is propped up by the opium trade.

Opium prices almost doubled in August compared to May, the report added, putting political uncertainty following the Taliban’s takeover of the country the core reason for the price rise.

The UNODC report predicts that the 2022 opium harvest “will be based on decisions that farmers will make in November 2021, when they are starting to sow opium poppy.”

The UN has called for international aid to support local programs to reduce opium production.

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