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Afghanistan’s Opium Cultivation Jumps 10 Percent In 2016

In this photograph taken on April 27, 2016, Afghan farmers harvest opium sap from a poppy field in Sarmurghab village in the Tarinkot district of southern Uruzgan province.

Afghanistan's cultivation of opium poppy has risen 10 percent in 2016, the United Nations has said.

According to the key findings of its annual Afghanistan opium survey, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on October 23 that the total area of land devoted to poppy cultivation had risen 10 percent in 2016 to 201,000 hectares.

The jump in cultivation is due to the favorable weather, the government’s loosening grip on security, and a drop in international support for counternarcotics operations, the UN said.

The UN also said there had been a 30 percent increase in the estimated yield from poppy cultivation.

Poppy farmers in Afghanistan are often taxed by the Taliban, which uses the money to fund their insurgency against the government and NATO forces.

Afghanistan’s cultivation of opium poppy is the world’s main source of heroin.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters