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Saffron cultivation increases in Kabul: Official

Saffron cultivation increases in Kabul: Official

By
On
Dec 04, 2017 - 16:34

KABUL (Pajhwok): Saffron Flower exhibition was launched in capital Kabul on Monday, amid increased cultivation of the lucrative plant in the central province this year.

Omar Jan Mangal, Agriculture and Livestock director for Kabul province, while addressing a gathering here, said the saffron flower festival was aimed at expressing economic and social support to farmers and highlighting economic development of the country.

He said last year saffron was cultivated on 19.5 acres of land in Kabul, but this year 3.5 acres more land was sown with the plant.

Mangal said during the current year, 23 acres of land produced 12 kilograms of saffron, showing an increase over last year’s yield. There was no exact figure about last year production of saffron.

The official said: “This year 620 saffron bulbs called corms were distributed to 25 farmers in different districts of Kabul and the farmers according to the guidelines of local officials cultivated the corms.”

He added 420 farmers from 14 different districts were trained in cultivation, collection and processing of saffron this year.

Stressing women’s role in cultivation, maintenance, collection and processing of saffron, Mangal said around 80 percent work of saffron was currently conducted by women, earning income for themselves.

Deputy Kabul Governor Mahboobullah Mahboob said since the launch of saffron cultivation in Kabul, effective programs had been arranged for farmers to increase their level of awareness regarding the vital crop.

Provincial Council (PC) member Ali Yazdan Parast said cultivation of saffron was important for economic development of the country. He said district chiefs should encourage farmers to cultivate saffron so it could replace poppy.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, saffron was cultivated on 1,020 hectares in Afghanistan in 2014 and the cultivation reached 3,000 hectares 2017 and in future the cultivation may reach 8,000 hectares.

nh/ma

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