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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 17:45 UK

Fungus hits Afghan opium poppies

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An unidentified fungus could wipe out a quarter of Afghanistan's poppy crop this year, significantly decreasing the production of opium.

It is thought that up to half of the country's crop has been infected. Afghanistan produces 92% of the world's opium.

Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says that prices had gone up by around 50% in the region.

The BBC's Mark Dummett says farmers are accusing the Afghan authorities and Nato of poisoning their poppy fields, something they strongly deny.

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