In 2017, the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) of the Myanmar Police Force of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar collaborated for the 15th time with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to implement an opium survey. 2016 and 2017 surveys focused on different aspects of opium production: in 2016, the survey focused on the socio‐economic conditions of farmers in opium growing areas , and in 2017 on estimating the extent of poppy cultivation and opium production. The area and production survey in 2017 has focused on major opium producing states, Shan and Kachin . In addition, a selective sampling rate has been applied for the collection of the satellite imagery, using an approach that guarantees comparability with 2015 results.
The 2017 opium survey estimates that 41,000 ha of opium poppy has been cultivated in Shan and Kachin States. Compared to the 2015 estimate, this represents a 25% decrease.
Reductions have taken place in East and South Shan (‐37% and ‐29% respectively), whereas in North Shan and Kachin States the cultivation remained practically stable (‐3% and ‐7%). Continued turmoil in North Shan and Kachin appear to be linked to the steady cultivation levels. The reported amount of eradication has also been very low in these two states (less than 130 ha), whereas the large majority (85%) of the total eradication (3,533 ha) has been reported from South Shan.
In terms of opium production, part of the area reduction has been offset by an increase in yields per hectare in South Shan, which have risen by 43% to 14.2 kg/ha. Combined with the reduced cultivation areas, this resulted in a 14% decrease of potential dry opium production in Shan and Kachin states. In 2017, South Shan state remains the largest opium producer supplying almost half (43%) of the total estimated potential production of 550 metric tons.