Opium production in Afghanistan rose 87 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, to 9,000 tonnes, according to the latest survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan.
According to the UN study, the area of poppy cultivation has also increased to an unprecedented number of three hundred and twenty-eight thousand hectares, up 63 percent from 2016.
Speaking at the launch of the survey, Yuri Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs, said that it was time for the international community and Afghanistan to give priority once again to tackling the drug problem, recognizing that each State had a shared responsibility for the global problem.
The increase in production is mainly due to the increase in land used in poppy cultivation, and the increase in productivity of hectares has also contributed.
Afghanistan produces the world’s largest poppy, which produces opium and heroin.
The unprecedented levels of poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan this year pose multiple challenges for Afghanistan and its neighbors and for many transit and destination countries.
After almost a decade of poppy-free cultivation, the states of Ghazni, Samangan and Nuristan have joined other Afghan states where the practice has taken place, reducing the number of poppy-free states in Afghanistan to 10 from 13.