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Editorial: Afghan saffron world known

Afghanistan saffron is best in the world. The word saffron goes back as far as 10,000 years. Saffron is said to be derived from the world “Zarparan” in Dari which means a flower with its stigma valued at the same price as gold. Strongly rejects reports once in the past was headlined in media that saffron cash crops to Afghanistan came from abroad. It is a total falsehood echo. Based on exports, saffron has been growing in Afghanistan, especially in Herat province for the past 2,000 years. Today we have saffron cultivation in our 30 provinces across the country with employs over thousands farmers with extended families. Moreover, it is major source of income to Afghan farmers, as currently the price of a kilogram of Afghan saffron in global market is around $2,000. To appreciate the efforts of farmers who are busy in cultivation of Saffron, former President Hamid Karzai previously met with the famous saffron producer Mohammad Akbar aka Baba-e-Zaferan (father of saffron), praised him for his effort in the increase of saffron cultivation and its quality, especially the saffron of Herat province. Moreover, recently the “Fifth National Saffron Conference” was held in Kabul 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. The plus point is that Afghanistan’s climate well suits saffron plantation and production. Moreover, official informed that farmers earned $12 million income from saffron production this year against last year’s $9 million—a great achievements. Furthermore, saffron could play a vital role in the country’s economic development, which is fragile at the moment, and also the related officials must pay more heed to perk up products quality. Afghan saffron is number one product in the world with bagging this position for years, praying to be number one forever. Consumers across the world use saffron for medicine, in foodstuff and cooking, and as a remedy for many ailments. Since our country go well with saffron cultivation, if each family had half of acre or one acre of land for saffron, poverty would come to dramatic low level. Poverty can be purged. The government is also determined to help farmers by providing financial support, machinery, storage, seeds, training and new processing methods all of which will pave the way for farmers to export their products outside Afghanistan.

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