Until now Afghanistan was the world’s top producer of opium. This year, Myanmar has overtaken Afghanistan and occupied that position. This information is known from a report published by the United Nations on Tuesday.
Citing the United Nations report, the British media The Guardian reported that the production of opium in Afghanistan has greatly decreased due to the strict imposition of opium cultivation by the Taliban government. And this is why Myanmar has become the world’s largest opium producing country.
According to the latest report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Myanmar has produced approximately 1,800 metric tons of opium this year.
UNODC also reported that the Taliban government imposed a ban on poppy cultivation in April last year. Since then, opium production has fallen by 95 percent. Afghanistan has produced only 330 metric tons of opium this year.
According to the UNODC report, Myanmar farmers decided to grow more poppy at the end of last year. Their decision is believed to have contributed to Myanmar becoming the world’s top opium-producing country this year.
Analysts say opium and other illicit commodity production can make opium and other illicit products an attractive alternative to livelihoods due to limited legal economic opportunities in Myanmar, lack of access to state infrastructure, inflation and financial stagnation.
Myanmar produced 790 metric tons of opium last year, UODC said.
In a BBC report, the military seized power in Myanmar in 2021. Then the country’s economy collapsed due to political unrest. Many farmers started cultivating poppy to cope with the financial crisis. Currently, the area under poppy cultivation in Myanmar is 47,000 hectares (1,16,14 acres), an increase of 18 percent over last year.