Kabul, Afghanistan - Nearly half a million of pounds of opium poppy seeds have been confiscated in southwestern Afghanistan during a joint raid by NATO and Afghan National Security forces, officials said.
The operation took place Wednesday in the Delaram district of Nimroz province, which borders Iran.
The find represents the largest uncovered by Afghan and coalition forces this year, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.
The opium poppy can be used to make heroin and other drugs, and is considered a staple of insurgent funding.
Afghanistan is considered the world's leading cultivator of opium poppy, ahead of Myanmar, according to a 2011 United Nations report.
The country accounts for 63% of the world's total areas under opium poppy cultivation, despite a smaller harvest last year due to an unspecified disease in opium plants.
Locally, one gram of heroin costs around $4, the U.N. reported. After the product is transported to illicit markets in the United States or northern Europe, the same amount is worth between $170 to $200 per gram.
In a separate operation in Kandahar province, security forces also uncovered 4,400 pounds (nearly 2,000 kilograms) of hashish and 33 pounds (15 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate, which can be used in fertilizers and as an explosive component.