A total area of over 62,000 hectare of opium poppy cultivation took place in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar and Thailand in 2013. In order to assess the scope of opium poppy cultivation and opium production in the region, UNODC has been conducting opium surveys in cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR since 1992 and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) since 2002, while Thailand established its own monitoring system. This report contains the results of the 2013 UNODC-supported opium poppy cultivation surveys in Lao PDR and Myanmar. In addition, the results from the opium poppy surveys implemented by the Government of Thailand are presented in this regional overview.
Laos has 31 state-run radio stations and one national television network with 16 stations. Lao broadcasters compete with more developed Thailand, whose stations can reach all of Laos (“Laos to Modernize its Media,” www.voanews.com). Newspaper and magazine circulation is limited. Many of the rural areas, where 85% of Laotians live (Lao News Agency, www.kpl.net.la), are not easily accessible by road, and a relatively low literacy rate of 68.7% (World Factbook) also limits readership.