harvest begins this month and lasts until autumn. Monitoring of
illegal planting suggests production will hit an all-time high.
Poppy is turned into opium, the raw material of heroin.
Precise production figures are unknown because much of the
growing is in remote areas unsafe for United Nations anti-drugs
inspectors. But a UN Office of Drugs and Crime survey of seed
planting this year warned that more and more regions are planting
Out of 134 districts surveyed, 23 were growing poppy for the
first time. Another 50 were planning " increases" or " large
increases" in production, the report said.
By contrast only 28 districts were thought to be reducing output
and 20 showed no change. The figures point to a surge in production
- and a flood of cheap heroin on the streets of Britain. More than
90 per cent of heroin sold here already comes from Afghanistan.
Adam Bouloukos, deputy head of the UN anti-drugs team based in
Kabul, said many of the growing areas were driven into the heroin
trade by poverty and he urged greater economic support from the