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UN says Myanmar opium production on rise
Associated Press
2012-10-31 11:39 AM
A U.N. report says the cultivation of illegal opium has increased in Myanmar for a sixth successive year, fueled in part by rising demand for heroin across Asia.

The report released Wednesday by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime says that farmland under opium cultivation in Myanmar rose by 17 percent this year, to 51,000 hectares (126,000 acres) from nearly 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) in 2011.

The upsurge comes despite a government campaign to eradicate the crop from the Southeast Asian nation, which has won praise worldwide for taking major steps toward democratic reform after the long-ruling military junta ceded power last year.

According to the U.N, Myanmar is the world's second-largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, accounting for about 25 percent of global poppy production.

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