December 13, 2017

Analysis on poppy cultivation, opium production released

Photo shows pictures of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar. Photo: Myanmar News Agency

A ceremony for releasing an analysis on poppy cultivation and opium production in 2017 was held at the Kempinski Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
At the ceremony, Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Union Minister for Home Affairs and Chairman of Central Committee for Prevention from the Dangers of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, said, “The Central Committee for Drug Abuse and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes made a data collection survey in cooperation since 2001 concerning poppy cultivation and opium production under the program ICMP. The ICMP is launching the data collection in cooperation with respective governmental departments, according to the projects laid down by the 53rd Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in March in 2009. Poppy cultivation and opium production in Myanmar decreased, reaching to the lowest level in 2006 — 21500 hectares. But it rose up again during the period — from 2007-2013. And then it dropped to some extent during 2013-2016. In 2017 it decreased remarkably. Poppy cultivation was mostly done in Shan State, but also within Kachin, Chin and Kayah states. In 1999, a narcotic drugs eradication project — a 15-year plan and 5-year added-plans were drawn up till 2019 and eradication of drugs including opium was launched.”
Also, Union Minister added, “UNODC Projects — poppy-substituted crops, coffee plantation, timber plantation and forest conservation — were carried out in Hopone and Loilem regions with the assistance of the EU and Germany. The Central Committee for Drug Abuse approved the new policy on national drug control based on various sectors such as prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reduction of production and development in substitution, concerning drug control in November, 2017 in cooperation with UNODC and its related partner organisations. Having approved the new policy on narcotic drugs, reduction of poppy cultivation based on the new policy must be included as the major sector. So as to reduce poppy cultivation, tasks for rural development, which included all-round development, must be prioritised in poppy-growing areas. Substituted crops, livestock breeding, acquisition of market and sources for other income must be brought about for farmers.”
In addition, Mr. Jeremy Douglas, UNODC resident coordinator on Southeast Asia and the Pacific, clarified the facts and figures included in the report with a power point presentation. Afterward, representatives from UNODC and responsible officials from the central committee replied to questions raised by members of the news media. Present at the meeting were Union Ministers, Deputy Ministers, diplomats in Myanmar, members of Central Committee for Prevention from the Dangers of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Directors-General of the Ministries of Home Affairs, representatives from UNODC, high-ranking officials from Myanmar Police Forces, journalists, it was learnt.

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