Will Myanmar’s economy ever kick its opium habit?

Poppy fields are here to stay; "if we don’t grow it, we don’t eat", say its impoverished farmers
South China Morning Post (China)
Saturday, August 27, 2016

A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates Myanmar had 55,000 hectares of poppies under cultivation in 2015, most of it in Shan State. Some say that is a conservative estimate and place the figure at closer to 160,000 hectares. "Most farmers grow it because of poverty," says Tom Kramer, a researcher for the Netherlands’ Transnational Institute who has been visiting Myanmar regularly since 1993. "They grow poppy as a cash crop to address food shortages and to access health and education." (See also: Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle)