Authorities Destroy 31 Hectares of Opium Poppy Farms in Oudomxay

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Illegal opium poppies

Authorities have destroyed over 31 hectares of illegal opium poppy farms in Oudomxay Province.

According to a report by Lao Security News, police in Oudomxay Province found and destroyed illegal opium plantations spanning up to 31 hectares earlier this month.

Authorities investigated eight villages, including 42 families in Xay District at Oudomxay Province, where 43 plots of poppy cultivation were found over 31 hectares.

According to the report, police also said they destroyed 12.7 hectares of illegal opium cultivation in Tagu and Taloiu Villages of Nalae District, Luang Namtha Province in January.

Authorities destroy illegal opium poppy farms in Oudomxay
Authorities destroy illegal opium poppy farms in Oudomxay.

Laos was the third-largest illicit opium poppy producer in the world as recently as 1998, however, commitment to eradication efforts on the part of the government has reduced opium cultivation to marginal levels, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The country made opium poppy cultivation illegal in 2005, leaving many farmers without the means to make a living. However, alternative development projects have seen farmers growing other cash crops, such as coffee, ensuring livelihood opportunities.