Overtaking Afghanistan, Myanmar is now largest source of opium, UN says

According to a new United Nations report released today, Myanmar has become the world’s top producer of opium, overtaking Afghanistan in 2023.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on Tuesday that the 95 percent decline in opium cultivation in Afghanistan after a drug ban by the Taliban in 2022 has seen global supply shift to Myanmar, where political, social and economic instability brought about by a 2021 coup drove many to poppy farming.

The violent political turmoil in Myanmar has contributed to the opium production increase, the report says.

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