Published time: November 13, 2013 11:21

An Afghan security force member destroys poppy fields in the Noor Gal district of eastern Kunar province on April 13, 2013. (AFP Photo / Noorullah Shirzada)An Afghan security force member destroys poppy fields in the Noor Gal district of eastern Kunar province on April 13, 2013. (AFP Photo / Noorullah Shirzada)

Despite efforts to curb Afghan’s opium culture, cultivation has hit record levels as NATO forces prepare to exit the country. The UN warned warlords may be the biggest benefactor of the situation.

The report, the Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2013, provides little cause for optimism among countries that have witnessed a surge in incidences of heroin abuse among their populace since US-led forces started a military offensive against the Taliban on Afghan soil in 2001.

Afghanistan, long the world’s main heroin supplier, has seen its total area of poppy seed plantations explode to 516,000 acres – a 36 percent increase from 2012, according to the report, released on Wednesday.

Last year, the war-torn Central Asian country accounted for 75 percent of the world’s opium supplies; Jean-Luc Lemahieu, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Afghanistan, has said in the past that supplies may reach 90 percent of the global total this year.

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