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00:00:00
>> It's harvest season in the poppy fields of Afghanistan, ground zero for most of the world's heroin supply. The government has been trying to stamp out this illegal trap for years, but farmers are hooked. Mohammed Adair makes about three thousand dollars a year. He says if he were to switch to another crop, his income would fall to a third of that.
00:00:25
These farmers are willing to take the risk, because they have help. Taliban insurgents protect poppy fields and help find smugglers to sell the produce. In return, they take a share of the profits.
FOREIGN]
00:00:44
In fact, they're happy with us because they get part of what we earn.>> Experts say Afghanistan's opium trade brings in about $1.4 billion a year and it's a major source of funds for the Taliban. The U.S. is working with local forces to choke off this revenue, launching airstrikes against drug labs in parts of the country.
00:01:03
But opium production is still on the rise. Experts say farmers in the war-torn country see it as the best bet in the face of increasing violence and economic uncertainty. The government has tried promoting other crops, but farmers say they haven't done enough.>>
00:01:28
If there were an alternative, then we wouldn't need to cultivate poppies anymore.>> Officials say they don't have the resources to stamp out opium production for good. Some are calling for a special task force and gear, like surveillance helicopters. Resource is hard to come by in a country struggling to curb a growing insurgency.
00:01:48
>>