1 / 35

Afghanistan 0pium

Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 10, 2013. Opium poppy cultivation has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high, the U.N. said in a report. Poppy cultivation is also dramatically increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, the report showed, especially in regions where thousands of U.S.-led coalition troops have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing. The report indicates that whatever international efforts have been made to wean local farmers off the crop have failed. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Afghanistan opium

The seeds flew from his hands into the soil. Wrapped in a woolen shawl against the cold, Khan Bacha sowed his fields with the only crop he says brings him enough money to pay his bills and feed his family: Poppies.

Afghanistan's farmers are rushing to replant their fields with the base ingredient of opium after the country reaped its biggest poppy harvest ever last May.

That harvest produced a staggering 5,500 metric tons (6,000 tons) of opium, 49 percent higher than the previous year and more than the combined output of the rest of the world, according to a report issued Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 by the United Nations' drug control agency. (Associated Press)