The Seventh Opium Yield Survey Conducted Jointly by Myanmar and the United States of America as Part of the Program for Cooperation in

The Seventh Opium Yield Survey

Conducted Jointly by

Myanmar and the United States of America

as Part of the

Program for Cooperation in the Eradication of Narcotic Drugs 

2 March 2001

A joint team of experts of

the Governments of the Union of Myanmar and the United States of America, as

part of the Program for Cooperation in the Eradication of Narcotic Drugs,

traveled by helicopter to illicitly cultivated opium fields in the remote and

inaccessible regions of eastern, southern and northern Shan State. Members of

the joint team then collected opium poppy samples and conducted an opium yield

survey. They also interviewed opium- growing peasants of the region, and in

northern Shan State held discussions regarding the progress of opium crop

substitution programs with responsible officials.

The Myanmar team taking part in this program was headed by Colonel Kyaw

Thein, member of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCADC) and Head

of Department of the Office of Strategic Studies with members of the CCDAC and

officials of the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Stanley Hilliard led the

American team and was accompanied by officials of the American embassy, the DEA,

the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Criminal Narcotics Center (CNC).

The joint Myanmar-U.S. team left Yangon by a Myanmar Air Force plane on 2

March and on arrival at Kyaintong airport transferred to a waiting helicopter to

continue their journey, and arrived in Mong Pauk of the ‘Wa’ region in eastern

Shan State the same morning. The team then visited illicit opium fields in Mong

Pauk Township and collected samples of opium pods. In the afternoon they visited

the Alternative Development Project Office of the United Nations International

Drug Control Programme to meet with Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Xavier Bouan and

Mong Pauk Distict Local Administrative Office U Yar Gu and held extensive

discussions on progress made in the ‘Wa’ Region Alternative Development Program,

and the projects so far drawn up and implemented by the ‘Wa’ nationals to

realize the target of establishing an Opium Free Zone by the year 2005. The team

then departed Mong Pauk and arrived back in Kyaingtong in the evening.

On 3 March the joint team left for Mongshu Township in Eastern Shan State

in the morning. There they visited illicit opium fields between the villages of

Nampat and Namlat, to collect samples of opium pods and also interviewed opium

peasants. They left the area in the afternoon and arrived in Lashio in the


The next morning on 4 March, the Myanmar-American team left for the

Naunglaing region of Tanyang Township in northern Shan State. They then

proceeded to illicit opium fields in the vicinity of the villages of Mecheynu,

Mannaung, Manpein and Honar where they collected opium pod samples and held

interviews with the native opium peasants in the area. They arrived back in

Lashio in the afternoon. Later the same evening they met and held discussions

with members of the Lashio Police Force, responsible officials of the Health

Department, Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock Breeding of

the Shan State, as well as with Buckwheat experts of the Japan International

Cooperation Agency (JICA). The discussions centered on progress made in

alternative crop and buckwheat cultivation; the situation regarding measures for

eradication of opium cultivation; narcotic drug interdiction, and rehabilitation

and education programs for drug addicts within the Kokang region.

On the morning of 5 March the joint Myanmar-U.S. team left for Panlong

Village of Hopan Township in northern Shan State and visited illicit opium

fields in the areas around Ah Hopa, Sipar Kyaing and Panlong villages where they

collected samples of opium pods, leaves, seeds and soil. They also interviewed

the native opium peasants after which they returned to Lashio the same

afternoon. On 6 March the joint team left Lashio by air for Yangon.

Myanmar and the United States of America, have since 1993, jointly

conducted such opium yield surveys annually, and since 1997 there has been a

significant and continuous decline in the acreage of opium being cultivated as

shown in the report issued by the United States and in the report of Base Line

Data collected annually by Myanmar. The fact that there was less rain during the

opium cultivation season this year, which has yielded a poor harvest, combined

with efforts made by regional authorities to educate and assist the opium

peasants to give up, and therefore had resulted in lessening opium cultivation

year by year, and the systematic program of destroying illicit opium fields, it

is certain that the opium production for this year 2001, will definitely be less

than previously. The Government of the Union of Myanmar has been implementing a

program for the total eradication of opium cultivation in the country within 15

years, since the year 1999-2000, and is now continuing all efforts to realize

this goal, to which it is firmly committed.

The joint Myanmar-U.S. Opium Yield Survey carried out this year is the

seventh of its kind. According to information received, it is most likely that

the United States Government will continue cooperation with Myanmar towards the

eradication of opium cultivation in the country on the basis of estimates from

data obtained in the present survey.