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August 24, 2006

Addiction Jihate

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 7:28 am

KABUL – Seventy-eight percent more land in Afghanistan has been planted with opium poppies this year than last, according to the latest satellite images, a Western security official said Wednesday.

In what would be a new record, a first assessment of the images showed 185,000 hectares (456,950 acres) of poppy fields compared to 104,000 hectares in 2005, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Official figures are due to be released next month and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) would not comment before then. The figures are based on satellite images and ground surveys.Afghanistan is by far the world’s top producer of opium — used to make heroin and morphine — despite years of costly, internationally-backed efforts to cut back the drug.The same Western official said last week that initial studies had suggested a 44 percent increase in poppy cultivation, a figure also cited in media reports.The yield of opium per hectare depends on various factors including the weather and irrigation.‘According to the provisional figures, we should have 40 percent more production,’ the official said.In 2005 output reached 39 kilograms (86 pounds) per hectare compared to 32 kilograms a year earlier, according to UN figures.The war-ravaged and drought-plagued country produced about 4,100 tonnes of opium last year, according to the UNODC. The crop was estimated to be worth 2.7 billion dollars.

It takes about 10 kilograms of opium to make one kilogram of heroin.


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