Heroin harvest in Afghanistan
HEROIN production in
Afghanistan has soared by up to 1400 per cent since the war on
terror and the fall of the Taliban, a drugs conference will
The United Nations Drug Control Programme
estimates the "total likely yield" of this yearís opium poppy
crop will be between 1900 and 2700 metric tons, compared with
185 tons last year.
Afghanistanís vast opium poppy
harvest is said to account for 90 per cent of the
highly-addictive drug sold on Britainís streets.
collapse of the Taliban triggered the massive rise because
poppy growing was banned by the regime in July 2000, leading
to a fall of 95 per cent in the size of last yearís crop.
DrugScope, the drugs charity which is staging the
conference, said the new figure demonstrated opium cultivation
was back to "a very significant level".
executive of DrugScope, Roger Howard, said: "The expected
large rise in Afghan opium production is a major concern.
"If we are to stop the return to full-scale opium
production, the international community must fulfil its
commitment to help rebuild Afghan society, giving communities
and individuals another option.
"The conference will
hear that international efforts at controlling production
outside this holistic approach have consistently not
delivered. Enforcement on its own is not the solution."
The charity said the rise would come as a blow to the
UK government, which in April agreed to take a global lead in
helping the Afghan authorities to develop anti-narcotics
In April, the Foreign Office predicted the
amount of heroin on Britainís streets would be cut by a scheme
offering Afghan farmers £800 for 2.4 acres of opium destroyed.
Delegates at the Paris conference will also hear that
Afghan authorities have poorly trained staff, and inadequate
equipment and facilities to deal with the problem, DrugScope