## Licit Opium Production: Non-Traditional

Increasingly, commercial opium production does not produce
opium at all. Instead, it produces *Papaver somniferum*
straw from which alkaloids are isolated. Obviously, there
are no figures available for opium yields for this kind of
production. However, there are numbers for morphine yields
and these allow us to work backwards to determine
equivalent opium yields so that we can compare this kind
cultivation with the traditional.

Equivalent opium production can be determined for *Papaver
somniferum* by making three assumptions. First, the number
of kilogram of straw yield per hectare harvested is 600;
we will call this variable Y. Second, straw yields 0.2%
of its weight in morphine; this is variable M. Third, opium
is 12% morphine; this is variable P. We can thus convert
the straw areas to opium production:

AREA * (Y kg/Ha) * (M kg/kg) / (P kg/kg)

On the basis of this, the equivalent opium production in kg is equal to the area planted in hectares times ten.

YEAR | AREA | OPIUM | YIELD |

1989 | 40500 | 405 | 10 |

1990 | 32000 | 320 | 10 |

1991 | 47000 | 470 | 10 |

1992 | 39000 | 390 | 10 |

1993 | 24000 | 240 | 10 |

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