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U.N.: Opium production surges in SE Asia

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Breaking News. Image: GoodManPL (Pixabay).

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 13 (UPI) — The global economic crisis was the apparent force behind a 22 percent surge in opium poppy cultivation in Southeast Asia in 2010, a U.N. report indicated.

The report, released Monday, said the potential production value rose by $100 million from 2009 to $219 million.

“Poverty and instability are two of the drivers which push farmers to grow, or sometimes return to growing, illicit crops,” U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov said of his agency’s 2010 Southeast Asia survey that covers Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

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