Field of illicit gains

A farmer working in an illegal poppy field in Hopong, Myanmar's Shan state, on Sunday. Fields of purple opium poppy stretch across the pastures and peaks of mountainous eastern Myanmar, with many farmers reluctant to give up the profitable cash crop
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A farmer working in an illegal poppy field in Hopong, Myanmar's Shan state, on Sunday. Fields of purple opium poppy stretch across the pastures and peaks of mountainous eastern Myanmar, with many farmers reluctant to give up the profitable cash crop in spite of incentives offered. Myanmar is the second biggest source of opium in the world after Afghanistan, with Shan state its main production hub. Myanmar is part of the Golden Triangle, together with Thailand and Laos, the source of much of the world's opium.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2019, with the headline 'Field of illicit gains'. Print Edition | Subscribe