The 20 percent decrease in Afghan poppy cultivation recorded for this year shows that with the right kinds of messages and support from the Government, farmers and communities will respond and change their behaviors, a senior official with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said Oct. 27. Poppy cultivation in the strife-torn nation dropped by a fifth this year, from 193,000 hectares to 157,000, according to the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2008 which was released by UNODC in August. It also found that 18 of the country’s 34 provinces are now opium-free – up from 13 last year. (UN News Service)

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