Mexico City, 26 March 2020 – The Government of Mexico and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Mexico released today their third joint crop monitoring report “Mexico - Opium Poppy Cultivation Survey 2017-2018”. The survey contains the latest estimates of the total area cultivated with poppy, as well as the results of the yield study (kilograms of opium gum by hectare of opium poppy cultivation), the potential production of dry opium, and the concentration of morphine in the opium gum in the country.
The survey is the result of inter-institutional efforts of the government of México and technical assistance of UNODC in the framework of the joint project "Illicit Crop Monitoring System in the Mexican Territory". This project, which is financed by the Government of Mexico, is part of the UNODC Global Illicit Crop Monitoring Programme in Vienna, that provides internationally recognized data using a transparent, reliable and comprehensive methodology.
Between 2017 and 2018, poppy cultivation in Mexico was reduced by 9 per cent compared to the previous period, 2016-2017. The area under opium poppy cultivation in Mexico was 28,000 hectares (ha) in 2017-2018, corresponding to 2,600 ha less than in the previous period.
The methodology employed for these estimates is based on the visual photo-interpretation of satellite images that are validated with ground and aerial field verifications. During 2017-2018 the largest concentration of poppy cultivation was located in the mountainous region of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the zone known as the “Golden Triangle” where the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango converge; in the northern part of the state of Nayarit, and also in the Sierra Madre del Sur in the state of Guerrero.
Based on the information provided by the National Prosecutor's Office, in 2018 a total of 2,696 fields were eradicated, with a minimum variation compared to the previous year.
This survey is the first to generate estimates for Mexico on:
- The yield of opium gum, reported at 16.1 kg/ha.
- The potential domestic production of dry opium, estimated at 450 metric tons (mt).
- The concentration of morphine in the opium gum production, reported at 16.2 per cent.
A public launch event for this report is postponed until further notice, once the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 allow for it.
The report is available at: