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Nearly 11 tons of Afghan saffron earn $18m: MAIL

Nearly 11 tons of Afghan saffron earn $18m: MAIL

Jan 28, 2018 - 17:21

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Sunday announced that farmers earned $18 million in revenue from nearly 11 tons of saffron produced this year, surpassing the estimated harvest. 

MAIL spokesman Akbar Rustami told a presser in Kabul that around eight tons of the country’s red golden saffron harvest had been estimated in 2018 under the “five-year national plan for sustainable development of saffron”.

However, he added the saffron yield had fortunately reached 10.6 tons during the ongoing fiscal year.

Last year, the lucrative plant, deemed as alternative to the illicit poppy, was grown on 13,000 and five acres of land against 25,000 and 985 acres of land this year, according to Rustami.

He said MAIL invested around $ 1.2 million jointly with the private sector for development of saffron cultivation in 2018 and as a result, farmers earned $18 million in income.

He linked the increased production and income of saffron to the agriculture ministry’s “strong attention” and launching exhibitions inside the country and abroad.

Rustami said goals set out in the five-year plan had been 70 percent achieved by producing 10.6 tons of saffron,.

More than 2500 individuals got permanent job opportunities during the ongoing year by cultivation of saffron, he concluded.