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Afghanistan saffron cultivation hits record, 10.6 tons saffron produced this year

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Sunday said that Afghanistan saffron or so called ‘red gold’ cultivation and production has increased unprecedentedly that is new record for the outgoing Afghan year.

“Afghanistan’s saffron production reached to 10.6 metric tons this year, which show unprecedentedly increase,” said MAIL Spokesman Akbar Rostami.

He said that the target of the ministry was eight tons, but the production crossed the target and hit new record.

He said that saffron cultivation area also increased from 2610 to 5197 hectares this year.

The MAIL also has distributed 234 tons of saffron bulbs to the farmers in order to support saffron cultivation, he added.

Mr. Rostami said that the effective management and strong efforts of MAIL to back saffron cultivation is the main factor behind unprecedentedly increase of saffron cultivation and production.

The increase in saffron production is also as result of continued technical, financial and training support of farmers by MAIL, he claimed.

Establishing infrastructures such as laboratories and process center for saffron quality control were other reason behind well progress of saffron cultivation, he noted.

He said that MAIL will distribute 245 tons of saffron bulbs to the farmers in 33 provinces next year.

He stated that the Ministry also will establish five saffron process centers in coming year.

The MAIL will work hard to seek better markets for Afghan saffron in abroad, he mentioned.

It is pertained to mention that saffron not only deemed as agricultural and economic achievement, but this progress has significant impact over security situation.  Growing and increasing of cultivation of this legal crop will help the farmers to gain enough money through legal way and get distance from narcotic cultivation.

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