Myanmar's opium production increases to 9-year high
Narinjara News, 27 January 2023
Myanmar's opium production, which was on decline for about 7 years, has now increased significantly, said a report released by the United Nations.
In 2021, when the military junta organised the coup, the country’s opium production was 423 metric tons, but it increased up to 795 mt in 2022.
The UN believes that the recent increase in opium production is due to the country's economic crisis, lack of security as well as the global rise in the price of opium resin that is needed to produce heroin.
The military coup on 1 February 2021 simply plunged Myanmar into a bloody civil war and the conflict has not yet been resolved.
After the coup, Myanmar’s economic, security and administrative sectors collapsed and the farmers in remote areas (especially the border areas of northern Shan State) had no choice but to return to poppy cultivation, said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
According to the report released on Thursday, the internal and external impacts on Myanmar's economy, political instability and rising commodity prices in 2022 had pushed the farmers to go for the poppy cultivation.
Mentionable is that Myanmar is the second largest producer of opium (after Afghanistan) across the globe. Those are the primary source countries of all the heroin sold in different parts of the world.
According to the UN estimation, Myanmar's opium economy is valued up to two billion dollars.
(Photo credit to VOA)