Triangular Trade: Weapons, Drugs and Sex
Afghan Opium Production Jumps To Record Level, Up 87 Per Cent
Opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons in 2017 compared with 2016 levels, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released today by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The area under opium poppy cultivation also increased to a record 328,000 hectares (ha) in 2017, up 63 per cent compared with 201,000 hectares in 2016.
In a statement delivered at the survey’s launch, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said: “It is high time for the international community and Afghanistan to reprioritize drug control, and to acknowledge that every nation has a shared responsibility for this global problem.”
The increase in production is mainly a result of an increase in the area under opium poppy cultivation, while an increase in opium yield per hectare also contributed. The largest increase of yields occurred in the Southern region where the average yield grew by 19 per cent and the north-eastern region, with a 14 per cent rise.
Afghanistan is the world’s top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and the many other countries that are transit for or destination of Afghan opiates. Increased insurgency and funding to terrorist groups is likely within Afghanistan while more high quality, low cost heroin will reach consumer markets across the world leading to increased consumption and related harmful consequences.
The average opium yield is at 27.3 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) – 15 per cent higher than in 2016. A total of 750 ha of poppy eradication was carried out by the provincial Governors in 2017. This represented an increase of 111 per cent from 2016 when 355 hectares were eradicated. In 2017, eradication took place in 14 provinces, compared to 7 provinces in 2016. During the latest eradication campaign, six lives were lost and eight people were injured.
As noted in the survey, opium poppy cultivation has expanded to new regions and strong increases were observed in many provinces.
The number of poppy-free provinces in the country decreased from 13 to 10. After more than a decade, Ghazni, Samangan and Nuristan lost their poppy-free status. The number of provinces affected by cultivation increased accordingly from 21 to 24.
In Hilmand alone, cultivation increased by 63,700 hectares (79 per cent), accounting for about half of the total increase. This was followed by Balkh (+10,000 ha), Kandahar (+7,500 ha), Nimroz (+6,200 ha), and Uruzgan (+6,000 ha).
The southern region has the country’s largest share of national opium production with 57 per cent recorded, which equals some 5,200 metric tons (MT). Afghanistan’s second most important opium producing region is the Northern, responsible for 16 per cent of national production (1,400 MT), followed by the western region with 13 per cent (1,200 MT). The remaining areas (eastern, north-eastern, and central regions) together, accounted for 12 per cent of opium production.
During the same reporting period, the average farm-gate prices at harvest time decreased in all regions of Afghanistan ranging from minus 7 per cent in the west to minus 50 per cent in the north-east. The only exception was the Southern region, where prices remained stable and decreased only after the harvest.
Amounting to US$ 1.39 billion and equivalent to roughly 7 per cent of Afghanistan’s estimated GDP, the estimated farm-gate value of opium production in 2017 increased by 55 per cent when compared to 2016 levels.
Who Promotes Afghan Farmers’ Opium Cultivation and Production?
According to UNODC’s Afghan Opium Survey 2017, the disappointing reversal of last year has become a profoundly alarming trend in the cultivation and production of opium in the country. The Survey’s findings show the total area under poppy cultivation has jumped a dizzying 63 per cent or 127,000 hectares compared to 2016. In 2017, the total area of cultivation is 328,000 hectares.
For both Afghanistan, and the world, we are heading towards uncharted territory with a new record high obliterating the previous one in 2014. Perhaps even more disturbing, potential opium production is estimated at 9,000 tons; an 87 per cent increase from the 2016 level of 4,800 tons.
The following discussion took place today Wednesday 15 November 2017 at 12:00 noon at a press conference on Afghanistan Opium Survey, held at Vienna International Centre, on room C0735, Building C, 7th Floor with Angela Me, Chief of the Research and Trend Analysis Branch, and the UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC).
Mr. Brian Hansford, chief advocacy section addressing me: Can you ask your questions at the conference? And please say who are you?
Me: Sorry Mr. Hansford, I just arrived at the conference room, would you please allow me to look at the UNODC report on Afghanistan opium survey 2017 before I ask my questions. Why did the press conference start earlier than 12 o’clock, as it was scheduled?”
Mr. Hansford: Dont worry, we will stay with you as long as you want.
Me: That’s fine Mr. Hansford. I will ask some questions before reading your report.
The UNODC office always talks about the high increase in the production and cultivation of opium despite all the conferences your office holds with Member States and the subsequent decisions. What positive results have your conferences achieved in reducing opium cultivation and production, and what is the use of such conferences if they do not achieve anything?
Ms. Me: Do you mean the conferences held last year? There are binding decisions for UNODC Member States but opium cultivation and production are illegal and take place outside the control of Member States and the implementation of decisions.
Q: Do you think that the powerful countries (without names) in Afghanistan, under security and military pretexts, are behind the increase of the cultivation, production and distribution of opium?
Answer: No, I don’t think so, no state in power is involved.
Q: What is your comment on the saying that the US military is behind the increase of production of opium?
Answer: I do not think so, we have no information directed against the US military in Afghanistan.
So where does the opium of Afghanistan go if America is not the beneficiary and who is responsible for producing opium?
Answer: Farmers are responsible, and a lot of opium production goes to Canada.
Comment and Question: Frankly, I do not think the simple farmer is responsible for the production of opium, and there is no wealth for the farmers or the Republic of Afghanistan.
Why do not you communicate with the simple farmer instead of the conferences? Afghanistan is an Islamic country, the mosque and the sheikh can play an important role in the field of preaching and religious guidance, which prohibits opium and drugs cultivation and production.
Answer: Yes we have a plan to communicate with farmers, clerics, and this category of clerics already banned opium. UNODC has created initiatives including the Triangular Initiative.
UNODC will work with its partners, including the government, to do everything possible to help Afghanistan’s people; but renewed regional and international commitment and engagement is fundamental to any tangible solutions.
Comment: So you will not have a problem of opium in the future. (with a broad smile). Everyone answers the same smile.
Q: How does Afghanistan’s opium cross the borders of other nations.
Answer: Through Iran and the Middle East.
Q: I think that Iran has confiscated a large supply of opium at his border? What do you think?
Answer: Yes, 30 percent of the smuggling of opium passes through Iran
Q: Why countries do not work to reduce opium cultivation and production by legalizing it? There are countries that allow the use of drugs, and drug users do not die in the street. They are happy as I hear.
Answer: The States will not legalize opium to protect people from addiction. The world’s consumer markets causing increased health and social problems. The problem of drug use will place added burdens on the already stretched Afghan public health services.
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Cut to the 19:52 point in this clip as an Abel Danger agent gives you a tour on board gunship Nana over the most expansive and productive poppy field region in the world. Get a bird’s eye view of the breadth and scope of production in this world class drug producing country.
911 IS IT LIVE OR IS IT LIVERY
Is the global drug trade worth billions and billions of dollars and related necessary money laundering worth sending more US soldiers into Afghanistan? Readers to AD should take notice that as soon as the following video was posted here on “Trump’s Strategy for Afghanistan 2017”, this video was taken down by Google/YouTube censors. So even though the video is no longer available, it will remain demonstrating Google/YouTube censorship. Other video clips are still available, like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSR4d7a3_Qo
Trump Strategy for Afghanistan 2017
Afghanistan War – US Soldiers in Fierce Firefights with Taliban in Mountains
Securing NATO’s Drug Lines In Afghanistan – Six US Soldiers Blown Up In Eastern Afghanistan – 15 Years of Death, CIA Kickbacks, Drug Lords and Warlords – This Carnage Is Going to Continue for the Next 30 Years – Afghanistan Government Are All Connected to the Drug Trade – It’s Not About Terrorism™, It’s About the Drug Trade ($600 Billion Worth) – Operation Cyclone – Narco-Trafficking Is as Old as the CIA – 2016 Bumper Crop Year for Poppy Cultivation – 911 Is It Live or Is It Livery?
HSBC Bank: Secret Origins To 26/11 Mumbai Attacks – Triangular Trade: Weapons; Drugs; Sex – The International Drug Trade – Globalism is Essentially a Global Slave and Dope-Pushing Empire – Militancy and the Punjab Drug Trade – Afghanistan’s Golden Crescent of Opium Production – Afghan Opium for Bankers and Terrorists – Banks Launder Billions in Drug Money Every Year – Pillar of Global Trade: Drugs – Cash is Required to Maintain Terrorist™ Networks