AT-KABUL: The Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Saturday said that it will distribute 280 tons of saffron bulbs in order to increase saffron cultivation across the country.
“Farmers would receive 230 tons of bulbs from MAIL and the rest 50 tons will be given by non-government relevant organs in 34 provinces nationwide,” MAIL said in a statement.
The ministry established laboratories and also has carried different training programs to the farmer in a bid to expand saffron cultivation throughout the country, the statement said.
“Some 5,000 famers received training in saffron cultivation, while 25 others for packing and process of the saffron, “it added.
According to the statement, twelve technician has been trained in laboratory fields in order to grade quality of saffron in the country.
Furthermore, it added that a number of formers have been dispatch abroad for training. “Once they return home after completing training, will share their experiences with the farmers, which is a great move.”
Statement highlighted that currently Afghanistan produce 5.3 tons of saffron, where the government has plan to increase the production to 14 tons in next five years.
According to report Afghanistan has the capacity of producing of 70 tons of saffron annually, which through will gain $200 million, it added.
Afghan saffron is a well-known saffron in the world market. Moreover, it has been for three years that Afghan saffron declared best and receives first position in international markets, it noted.
Saffron can be a major source of income for Afghan farmers and a great alternative to poppy cultivation, which scandal Afghanistan name in the world.
Saffron, the most precious plant has hundreds of history in Afghanistan, but due to decades of war this valuable gift was forgotten and was not cultivated for decades in Afghanistan
Saffron can be cultivated in many areas. Economically, if each family had one jerib of land, and cultivate saffron to half it, the country would be saved from poverty.
Consumers use saffron for medicine, in foodstuff and cooking, and as a remedy for many ailments. Currently, the price of a kilogram of Afghanistan’s saffron in the global markets is around $2,000.
Some 22 years ago when some Afghans who had been acquainted with saffron cultivation and production in Iran returned and decided to continue the practice in Ghoryan district in Herat province. This trend, which started with 60 square meters of land, moved so fast that now more than 800 hectares of land only in Herat are under saffron cultivation.