HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 c34W
Mr. Malin

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the conflict with the Taliban in Afghanistan has reduced the production there of opium; and if he will make a statement. [75421]

Mr. MacShane

After the fall of the Taliban the Afghan Interim Administration adopted a tough line on drugs: in January they introduced a ban on drugs production, trafficking and processing, and in April implemented a compensated eradication programme. The Afghan authorities estimate that approximately 16,500 hectares of poppy fields were destroyed. This equates to 76 tonnes of heroin, which is approximately three times the UK's annual consumption and worth around £5 billion at UK street level prices. But poppies continue to be cultivated.

Eradication alone will not solve Afghanistan's drug problem. The sustained elimination of opium poppy cultivation will require long-term international support for the building up of Afghan drug law enforcement and the provision of licit livelihoods for poppy farmers.

Back to
Forward to