Burma’s Military Junta Sees Doubling of Opium Production

Burma’s Military Junta Sees Doubling of Opium Production

Myanmar Opium Production Reaches Record High with Double Production since Coup

A report presented this Thursday by the United Nations (UN) indicates that opium production in Myanmar in 2022 reached 790 tons, that is, 88 percent more than the 420 of the previous year and nearly double the production of 2020.

UN representative in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Jeremy Douglas, explained that the increase in production is due to the economic crisis in the country since the coup d’état by the military junta in 2021, as well as the drop in foreign investment, inflation and the Covid-19 pandemic. Farmers, who have no other options, resulting in the opium trade being seen as a guarantee for income.

The area which saw the steepest rise in opium production was in the eastern Shan State, bordering China, Thailand and Laos, with 39 percent increase.

The UN representative highlighted that the increase in production will also mean an increase in the supply of heroin as 1 kilo of heroin is made from 7 to 10 kilo of opium. He warned that such trend may have have a “significant impact on societies”.

He also acknowledged that corruption of the authorities plays a major role in the illegal trade, defying direct criticism of the military junta, as the traffic takes place in territories under junta or under different ethnic groups and “everyone gets money” from this business.

Considering the serious socio-economic implications of this trend, the UN urged all parties to ensure the welfare of citizens of Myanmar.

News Desk

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