UN: Poverty pushing Myanmar opium output higher - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UN: Poverty pushing Myanmar opium output higher

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BANGKOK (AP) - A new U.N. report says official efforts to stamp out opium production in Myanmar are falling flat because poor farmers don't have alternatives.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates in its annual Southeast Asia Opium Survey that Myanmar's production of opium in 2013 will be 870 metric tons. It would remain the second-largest grower after Afghanistan.

The amount is a 26 percent rise over 2012 production.

The report says rising local and regional demand for illicit drugs has also have fueled the increase.

The U.N. agency says the trend is particularly alarming as economic integration and improved infrastructure binding Southeast Asia and southern China facilitate opportunities for criminal trafficking.

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