30 December 2007

The world’s leading drug producer

In 2007, Afghanistan cultivated 193,000 hectares of opium poppies, an increase of 17% over last year.

The amount of Afghan land used for opium is now larger than the corresponding total for coca cultivation in Latin America (Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined).

Favourable weather conditions produced opium yields (42.5 kg per hectare) higher than last year (37.0 kg/ha). As a result, in 2007 Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006), becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market).

Leaving aside 19th century China, that had a population at that time 15 times larger than today’s Afghanistan, no other country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale.

From 8ooo hectares in 2001 as a result of the Taliban’s fatwa (religious ban) against heroin production to 193,000 hectares of opium poppies in 2007.

UN Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007 (PDF)

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