HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c108W
Norman Lamb

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the estimated volume of opium production in Afghanistan is for the current year; and what the estimated volume was in each of the last five years. [154884]

Mr. Rammell

I have been asked to reply.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducts an annual survey into the level of opium poppy cultivation and production in Afghanistan. The UNODC is in the process of preparing the 2004 report on behalf of the Afghan government, which will be published in the autumn. According to the UNODC annual survey, the estimated volume of opium production and cultivation in each of the last five years is as follows:

Year Hectares Tonnes
1999 91,000 4,600
2000 82,000 3,300
2001 8,000 185
2002 74,000 3,400
2003 80,000 3,600

The low level of cultivation and low production figure in 2001 reflect the Taliban ban on opium cultivation; the ban did not however address the underlying causes of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, and was enforced with a mix of threat and bribery.

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