11:55 GMT +323 July 2019
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    In this picture taken on Monday, April 21, 2014, Afghan farmers slice open the green poppy bulbs, swollen with raw opium, the main ingredient in heroin, on a poppy field in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan

    Afghan Drug Production Grew 50-Fold Since US Invasion

    © AP Photo / Abdul Khaliq
    Asia & Pacific
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    Illegal drug production in Afghanistan has increased by a factor of 50 and continues to rise since a US-led operation was launched in the country in 2001, the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) chief said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The amount of land being used in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit a record number of 224,000 hectares last year.

    "The drug production in Afghanistan is the major problem for Eurasia and Central Asia, with its level increasing 50 times since the launch on October 7, 2001 of US operation Enduring Freedom and continues to rise," Victor Ivanov said.

    According to Ivanov, leading world experts agree that the drug production in the country will continue to grow unless the international community takes active steps.

    Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s illicit opiates. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that in 2014 the drug production levels climbed 17 percent compared to the previous year.

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    Tags:
    opium poppy, drugs, Federal Drug Control Service, United States, Afghanistan
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