Afghanistan drug production up 150% since 2001
20/11/2008 16:13 MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - Opium production in Afghanistan has increased by 150% since a NATO-led security and development mission entered the country in 2001, Russia's Federal Drug Control Service said on Thursday.
"Afghanistan has become the absolute leader in narcotics production, producing 93% of the world's entire opiates... Afghan drug dealers have in two years set up the successful production of cannabis [marijuana, hashish] with over 70,000 hectares of land being cultivated, taking Afghanistan into second place in the world behind Morocco in terms of the cultivation of such drugs," the service said in a statement.
Since the Taliban regime was overthrown in the 2001 U.S.-led campaign, Afghanistan, with almost all its arable land being used to grow opium poppies remains the world's leading producer of heroin.
According to the UN, Afghanistan's opium production increased from 6,100 tons in 2006 to 8,200 tons in 2007.
The narcotics trade has become an acute problem for the Central Asian republics due to a continual flow of illegal drugs from Afghanistan.
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