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Afghanistan’s saffron revenue up by 33pc

Afghanistan’s saffron revenue up by 33pc

Nov 07, 2017 - 00:12

KABUL (Pajhwok): The ‘Fifth National Saffron Conference’ was held in capital Kabul on Monday with the aim to create jobs, particularly for women, in the poverty-stricken country.

The day long high profile event coincides with a 33 percent increase in the revenue from saffron production this year.

High-level authorities, Afghan and Indian specialists, representatives from saffron exporting companies and farmers attended the event.

"Fortunately, the country's climate well suits saffron plantation and production," acting Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Nasir Ahmad Durrani told the audience.

He said farmers earned $12 million income from saffron production this year against last year’s $9 million.

Based on reports, last year a kilogram of saffron was sold against 100,000 afghanis.

Durrani asked the participants to share their suggestions on how to increase cultivation, production and improve quality and standardize processing of saffron.

Khan Jan Alokozay, first deputy chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), told the conference that no investment made to develop infrastructure for agriculture during the past 16 years in Afghanistan.

According to him, saffron could play a vital role in the country’s economic development if the product’s quality was improved and packaging standardized.

He said the private sector was ready to provide needed support in terms of saffron processing.

Some participating companies also showcased their products of saffron at the conference.

Sayed Abdul Wahab, head of saffron producing and exporting ‘Faizy Company’ in western Herat province, said Afghanistan’s saffron production was increasing day by day.

He said Faizy Company exported 100kgs of saffron last year and expected the export to reach half a ton this year.

Saffron produced in Afghanistan secured first position at international exhibitions held in the past three years.