Myanmar to extend opium substitute cultivation

Yangon, Feb 18: The Myanmar government, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will extend an opium substitute cultivation project in Shan state, the country’s deputy minister for home affairs said Tuesday.

At a meeting with the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, donor countries and UNODC, held in Nay Pyi Taw, Deputy Home Affairs Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Kyaw Tun said the project would start in Mongnai, Mongpan, Pinlaung, Pekhon, Langkho and Mongton townships of Shan state as part of efforts for ensuring food security for opium growers whose cultivations were destroyed, reported Xinhua.

The government and UNODC have implemented three projects in the country, aiming at assisting food security and livelihood, alleviating poverty and land reclamation.

At present, a total of 57,800 hectares of land is under poppy plantation.

Myanmar will implement the fourth five-year drug elimination plan in 51 townships across the country.

Myanmar’s 15-year drug eradication master plan was launched in 1999-2000 and it was extended for another five years till 2018-19.

In 2013, the defence forces and Myanmar police destroyed 12,700 hectares of poppy plantation.