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Poppy crop substitution agreement in Shan State

The Burmese government, the UN Office of Drug Control (UNODC) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) reached an agreement in Tachilek on Sunday on a crop substitution program in Mongnai and Mongpan townships in Shan State.

Based on data gathered, the government, the UNODC and RCSS will choose sites for a crop substitution pilot project jointly drawn up by the three organizations.

UNODC will render technical assistance to the government and the RCSS project sites, the agreement said, and it will work with international donors to obtain needed funds for the project

Under the plan, the RCSS will conduct an education program designed to obtain the support of farmers and the community.

Earlier, Mizzima reported that poppy cultivation in Burma has increased alarmingly in the past two years amid fears that the region's worsening economic crisis will encourage even greater growth.

The UN has warned that falling international commodity prices and increased political instability in Burma's border area has fuelled fears that many of Burma's poppy farmers will find it impossible to resist the temptation to return to their old ways.

There had been a dramatic fall in the area under poppy cultivation and opium production, but these gains have been reversed in the past two years, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) annual survey for 2011.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:21 )  

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