UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey November 2012

Afghanistan Opium Survey 2012

  • 28 pages
  • November 2012


Despite the eradication of opium poppy by Governor-led Eradication (GLE) having increased by 154% in comparison to its 2011 level (9,672 hectares eradicated in 2012), the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was estimated at 154,000 hectares (125,000 – 189,000) in 2012.

While that represents a 18% increase in cultivation, potential opium production was estimated at 3,700 tons (2,800 – 4,200 tons) in 2012, a 36% decrease from the previous year. This was due to a decrease in opium yield caused by a combination of a disease of the opium poppy and adverse weather conditions, particularly in the Eastern, Western and Southern regions of the country.

The high level of opium prices reported in 2011 was one of the principal factors that led to the increase in opium poppy cultivation in 2012. However, while opium prices remained high during 2012 there was some decline in all regions of the country, though differences between regions became more and more pronounced.

The vast majority (95%) of total cultivation took place in nine provinces in Afghanistan’s Southern and Western regions,6 which include the most insecure provinces in the country. Opium cultivation increased in most of the main opium poppy-growing provinces, including Farah, Nangarhar, Badghis and Nimroz, whereas cultivation remained stable in Uruzgan and decreased by 11% in Kandahar, the second most important poppycultivating province between 2009 and 2011.

Opium cultivation rose by 19% in Hilmand which, with 75,176 hectares or 49% of total opium cultivation in 2012, remained the largest opium-cultivating province in Afghanistan. However, a separate estimate was also available for the Hilmand “Food Zone” alternative livelihood project 8 , which showed that relatively less poppy is cultivated within the food zone than outside it.

Opium cultivation also increased in the Eastern region where it rose significantly in Kunar (121%), Kapisa (60%) and Laghman (41%) provinces. However, the Eastern region contributed only 4% to the national total of opium production in 2012. In the Northern region, opium cultivation increased by 10% in Baghlan province despite the eradication of 252 hectares in 2012.

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6 comments for “UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey November 2012

  1. November 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

    So much for the phoney-ram-a war on drugs! Hi grade heroin is flooding into to the cities up here on the Great Lakes. Why the US does not strafe these crops with napalm is beyond me. I guess it would not be “politically correct” or “culturally sensitive”. The US could wipe out Opium crops worldwide in 6 months if it wanted to. Just legalize it and take the profit out of it.

    • sh
      December 11, 2012 at 5:17 am

      misguided fools. the CIA now control it. nothing makes more money that the drugs they allow to be grown and transported. south america, middle east , golden triangle , all the same.

    • Annette
      September 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Who IS REALLY profiting from it? THINK!!!

  2. Alain
    December 3, 2012 at 4:36 am

    “Why the US does not strafe these crops with napalm is beyond me”

    Simply because this isn’t their country hence they can’t do whatever they please to.

    • tyler
      March 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

      seems like they do – do whatever the want. they invaded. they kill women and children. they came for some phoney war on terror and won’t leave. are ya sure they don’t do whatever the want? seems like they do.

  3. Swala
    December 8, 2012 at 7:31 am

    “Simply because this isn’t their country hence they can’t do whatever they please to.”

    Just drop a nuke on it like nagasaki.

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