Opium poppy growing areas identified in the North

The 36th Ranger Regiment led by Col. Pat Wongsarapee distributed food and milk to students in Om Koi in an area known for growing opium poppies in a bid to educate and reduce the amount of cultivation of the illegal plant.
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The Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute released their report on opium poppy growing in the North in five provinces; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak and Kamphaeng Phet.

According to Thipakorn Tatpak, Director of Strategy and Directing Section, Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute, Office of Narcotic Control Board, they had found 1,599.60 rai in the five provinces already under opium cultivation; 1,034 rai in Chiang Mai, 476.34 rai in Tak, 39.12 rai in Mae Hong Son, 39.63 rai in Kamphaeng Phet and 9.71 rai in Chiang Rai.

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Further surveys found the areas being prepared for cultivation in Om Koi district in Chiang Mai, Mae Ramat and Phop Phra districts in Tak, and Klong Lan district in Kamphaeng Phet, the ONCB has targeted these areas for destruction of opium poppy crops.

Col. Napak Suwankiri, of the Department of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center, 3rd Army Area met with communities leaders in areas of Baan Nalaomai, Chiang Dao to ask for cooperation in not planting opium poppies and to distribute blankets and other necessary items to local people.

The villagers in Baan Nalaomai said they had changed to home stay tourism and the Army has found a great reduction of opium poppy cultivation in the area.

Col. Pat Wongsarapee, Commander of Special Unit, 36th Ranger Regiment in cooperation with Administration Officers, Mae Tuen and Om Koi Police Station, and 22nd Chiang Mai Forest Prevention and Conservation Section visited the work operations of the Section’s narcotics operation and suppression team and destroyed three lots of opium fields and distributed blankets and milk distribution students in the Tasongyang-Pikukee area of Om Koi, Chiang Mai.

-Chaing Mai Mail

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