Press Release 22nd October, 2016

MCN/UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2016

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) is pleased to announce the release of the Afghanistan Opium Survey Report for the year 2016, prepared by MCN in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC), and with financial support from the U.S Department of State and the government of Japan. The report outlines an increase of 10% in poppy cultivation across the country as compared to last year, 2015. And the report also highlights major reductions in poppy cultivation in some of the key poppy cultivating provinces in the southern, western, and eastern regions of the country. Even though 2016 was a very challenging year for counter narcotics in Afghanistan, there were significant accomplishments and successes in interdiction and law enforcement, alternative livelihoods, and public information and awareness campaigns.

The key findings of the report include:

  • In 2016, poppy cultivation increased by approximately 10% from 183,000 hectares in 2015 to an estimated 201,000 hectares of land presently.
  • However, there were reductions in poppy cultivation in the following provinces:  57% in Farah, 40% in Nimroz, 29% in Ghor, 27% in Herat, 7% in Helmand, 3% in Kandahar, and 2% in Daikundi.
  • Additionally, 93% of all poppy cultivation in Afghanistan occurred across the four regions (North, South, West and East), all areas experiencing varying levels of insecurity.
    • Cultivation in the aforementioned regions are as follow:
      • 59% in the South
      • 25% in the West
      • 9% in the East
      • 7% in the North and North East
  • The estimate production rate of opium in Afghanistan was 4,800 metric tons, which is an increase of 43% from 2015.
  • The overall production rate was 54% in the South, 24% in West, 12% in the East, and 6% in the North. 
  • In 2016, farmers in these regions were able to increase the overall opium production rate per hectare of land to an average of 23.8 Kilograms.
  • A total of 355 hectares of land was eradicated in 2016 in Badakhshan, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Numroz, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, and Laghman.
  • And 13 provinces remained poppy-free in 2016, compared with 14 last year. Jowzjan province lost its poppy-free status in 2016.

MCN remains committed in combatting poppy cultivation. MCN’s future work will not be limited to just eradication, but the Ministry will continue working to improve the rule of law, widen the reach of alternative livelihood programs, expand services available to drug addicts, and implement effective public information and awareness campaigns. And the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also remains committed to counter narcotics. However, counter narcotics is not only limited to Afghanistan but it is a regional problem and needs the coordination and cooperation of international and regional partners to eradicate this dangerous phenomenon.