The  Afghanistan Opium Survey was released jointly by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics, UNODC Country Office for Afghanistan, Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) and Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) at the Government Media and Information Center  (GMIC) on 15 November in Kabul.

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey, total area under opium cultivation increased by 63 per cent in 2017, to an estimated 328,000 hectares (ha). The majority (60 per cent) of opium poppy cultivation took place in the Southern region of the country. The Western region accounted for 17 per cent  of total cultivation; the Northern for 13 per cent and the Eastern for 7 per cent. The remaining regions (North-Eastern and Central) together    accounted for 3 per cent. The report also highlighted an increase of 87 per cent in opium production i.e. 9,000 tonnes from its 2016 level (4,800 tonnes).

Deputy Minister, Jawed Qaem in his statement addressed illicit drugs trade, a devastating catastrophe for Afghanistan and the world, that is closely interlinked with international      terrorism.  He said  "global demand for drugs is the core driver of the poppy cultivation in

Afghanistan; additional factors include huge involvement of international precursor traffickers and their strong ties with Mafia in transporting the precursors into Afghanistan to convert opium to heroin. Bad security fuels poppy cultivation in Afghanistan particularly the southern province of Helmand".

Despite prevention efforts made in Afghanistan i.e. increased law enforcement operations, establishment of drug rehabilitation centers, large seizures by the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan, the southern region has yet the country's largest share of national opium production.

General Bakhtiyar, deputy minister of interior for counter narcotics highlighted the fact that international drug traffickers, organized crimes and international terrorism are the major barriers to the CNPA's operations in the country. In order to address these issues, more attention has been focused on lining up the operations together with the ANA and ANP to make a better impact, he added.

UNODC Country Office for Afghanistan will remain strongly committed to working closely with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with support from the international community, to effectively explore every possibility in addressing and countering the drug problems in the country.