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Myanmar cracking down on opium, but conflicts fuel drug trade

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18:00 11-01-2019
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The amount of land being used to grow opium poppies continues to decline in Myanmar, but ongoing conflicts are hampering efforts to stamp out the trade at a time when the illicit drug economy is becoming increasingly diverse, according to a new UN report, AL Lazeera reports.

Some 37,300 hectares of land in the country was under poppy cultivation last year, down from 41,000 in 2017, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 on Friday.

Nearly 90 percent of all the opium was grown in the northeastern Shan state, where government forces continue to battle ethnic rebels.

"The biggest drops in cultivation have been seen in areas that have had relatively good security," the UNODC said.