Opium Output Jumps in Laos and Myanmar

Opium poppy flowers and seed pods in Xieng Khuang province, Laos

Opium cultivation in Burma increased for a sixth consecutive year in 2012 despite increased government efforts to eradicate the crop, while in Laos land devoted to poppy production rose by more than half of the previous year, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Parts of the two nations, along with Thailand, make up the Golden Triangle region, a lawless area notorious for the production of narcotics sold by cartels throughout Asia.

In its annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that opium cultivation in the region had doubled since 2006, despite officials reports from Laos, Burma and Thailand that nearly 25,000 hectares (61,766 acres) of poppies were eradicated in 2012.

The UNODC said that the vast majority of regional demand for opium comes from China, and that the trade there is helped by porous borders in the country’s southwest.

via Opium Output Jumps in Burma, Laos.

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