AT News Report-KABUL: Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Monday said that Saffron income estimated to increase to $12 million this year.
“Over 6.2 tons of saffron produced in Afghanistan last year, which through farmers income reached to $9 million,” said Acting Minister for Ministry of Agriculture irrigation and Livestock.
Speaking at 5th Saffron National Conference, he said that 18,000 job opportunities have been established through saffron cultivation for farmers and their families.
It is predicted that saffron income will be $12 million for farmers this year, he added.
He stated that saffron cultivation beside a better source of income for farmers it is a good alternative for narcotics cultivation in the country.
Pointing to the national conference, minister said that in this three days conference MAIL will concentrate over standardization of saffron producing and supporting of private sector in the aspect.
He said that MAIL also will focus over better processing, packing and marketing for Afghanistan’s saffron.
The MAIL also will exert utmost efforts to establish infrastructures and laboratories as well as train formers in order to improve more saffron cultivation and producing across the country, he noted.
He said that exportation also has some challenges, which the ministry in cooperation with related organs will strive hard to solve it.
MAIL also will spare no efforts to help farmers to have seasonal harvests and products with better quality in order to they get more incomes, he asserted.
He said that we have enough market for agriculture products, but it need to be standardized, thus the ministry will help farmers in order to have a good product to be alternative for the imported goods in the market inside the country.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Deputy Khanjan Alkozai said that still government not focused as much as needed in the field of agriculture.
He said that still saffron processing and packing without standards, which it caused to the Afghan saffron lose markets in abroad.
Babai Saffron complained of smuggling of saffron with low quality from Iran to Afghanistan and from Afghanistan to abroad in order to impede Afghan saffron market.
He said that government must take step to prevent smuggling of saffron from Iran.