fredag 27. januar 2023

Opium production in Myanmar surges to nine-year high

The production of opium increased sharply in Myanmar, rising to a nine-year high, according to the UN. It touched nearly 795 metric tonnes in 2022, nearly double the production in 2021 - 423 metric tonnes - the year of the military coup. The UN believes this is driven by economic hardship and insecurity, along with higher global prices for the opium resin that is used to make heroin. The coup plunged much of Myanmar into a bloody civil war that still continues.

"Economic, security and governance disruptions that followed the military takeover of February 2021 have converged, and farmers in remote, often conflict-prone areas in northern Shan and border states, have had little option but to move back to opium," said Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The region, where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet - the so-called Golden Triangle - has historically been a major source of opium and heroin production.