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Afghan opium poppy crop: Mixed results from drugs war

31 January 2011 Last updated at 14:14 ET

By David Loyn
BBC international development correspondent

Afghanistan produces 90% of the world's opium, the main ingredient in heroin.

The growing of opium poppies in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar is predicted to be down for the second year running.

But a UN drugs forecast released on Monday says that poppy growing will increase elsewhere in Afghanistan.

Forecasting the Afghan crop is a tricky business, and the groundwork for this UN survey is based on the sample of only a few villages in each province.

But matched with satellite imaging, it suggests poppy growing will spread.

And that spread this year will even extend into provinces that had become poppy-free in recent years.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has expressed concern in particular about a predicted increase in Nangahar, a l


Added: Jan-31-2011 Occurred On: Jan-31-2011
By: gregory_peckory
Afghanistan, Middle East
Tags: afghanistan, opium growing, heroin production,
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