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February 19, 2019

Myanmar opium cultivation continues to drop: UNODC report

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu addresses the audience at the launching of the Myanmar Opium Survey 2018. photo: mna
Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu addresses the audience at the launching of the Myanmar Opium Survey 2018. photo: mna

The area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar dropped to 34,300 hectares in 2018, down 9.1 per cent from the 41,000 hectares recorded in 2017, said Maj-Gen Aung Thu, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs and member of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, yesterday.
He disclosed the figures in his address at the ceremony to release the Myanmar Opium Survey 2018.
The cultivation is found in Shan, Kachin and Kayah states, mostly found in Shan State, according to the report.
Myanmar drafted its 15-year drug eradication plan in 1999 and extended it further five years until 2019.
In cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-UNODC and the Office of the Narcotic Control Board-ONCB of Thailand, the Union Government is carrying out opium-substitute sustainable development programs in Hopon, Loilem and Pinlaung townships in southern Shan State and Tachilek in eastern Shan State.
The country approved its National Drug Control Policy in November 2017 and announced the new policy to the world in February 2018 and it was welcomed by the international communities.
To implement the new policy, the CCDAC drafted a master plan mainly focus on reduction of opium cultivation.
He commented that “the Government of Myanmar is pleased to see further declines in opium cultivation, but we also agree that there is still much to do, and we will continue to support programmes that provide viable alternatives to opium.”
At the ceremony, Ms. Miwa Kato of UNODC also delivered an address and Resident Representative Mr. Jeremy Douglas made the power point presentation about the report. —MNA  (Translated by Kyaw Zin Lin)

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