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Afghanistan's Opium Crop To Hit New High

An Afghan farmer works in a poppy field on the outskirts of Kandahar. (file photo)

A new report from the United Nations says Afghanistan's opium crop will hit a new high this year.

According to a survey by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), opium cultivation spread to 224,000 hectares in 2014, up 7 percent from the previous year.

The figure showed counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan had so far failed, said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the UNODC director for policy analysis and public affairs.

Analysts say the survey is likely to further embarrass aid donors who have invested millions of dollars in eradication over more than 13 years of war, only to see crops soar to unprecedented levels.

Afghanistan produces more than 80 percent of the world's illicit opium, and profits from the illegal trade help fund the Taliban insurgency.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters