The total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was estimated at 328,000 hectares in 2017, a 63% increase or 127,000 hectares more compared to the previous year. This level of opium poppy cultivation is a new record high and exceeds the formerly highest value recorded in 2014 (224,000 hectares) by 104,000 hectares or 46%.
Strong increases were observed in almost all major poppy cultivating provinces. In Hilmand province alone, cultivation increased by 63,700 hectares (+79%) which accounted for about half of the total national increase. Strong increases were observed also in Balkh (+10,000 hectares or almost five times more than in 2016), Kandahar (+7,500 hectares or +37%), Nimroz (+6,200 hectares or +116%), and Uruzgan (+6,000 hectares or +39%).
The majority (60%) of cultivation took place in the South of the country. The Western region accounted for 17% of total cultivation, the Northern region for 13% and the Eastern region for 7%. The remaining regions (North-eastern and Central) together accounted for 3%.