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Home | Opinions | Economic | Prospects of saffron production, trade in Afghanistan

Prospects of saffron production, trade in Afghanistan

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Prospects of saffron production, trade in Afghanistan
 Quick and high steps have been taken for production and trade of saffron and according to officials harvesting of this product has grown to over 71 pc in the last three years.
Afghanistan expects to witness remarkable achievements in the world market of saffron. This goal will be gained with formation of Saffron National Committee quickly.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2016 over 240 tons saffron onions were distributed to farmers while this year (2017) this quantity has increased to 500 tons. It is estimated that saffron production rate would reach to over eight ton in 2017.
According to available data, in the last 15 years, the area of saffron cultivated fields was 1050 hectare land with a harvest of 3.7 ton. In 2016 with a growth of 250 pc and adding of 1520 hectares, the saffron harvest reached to 6.5 tons.
Beside opening of cooperation doors with interested countries in this field, the Afghan government has signed contracts with domestic universities to improve saffron cultivation, harvest and trade based on modern and scientific norms.
Saffron cultivation was started mainly in 2001 in Afghanistan. 12 years later, saffron cultivation, production and harvest and its trade income increased several hundred fold. In 1393 solar year, the area under saffron cultivation was 730 hector land but in 1395, this areas increased to over 2811 hector with an outcome of almost seven ton with a growth rate of 71 pc.
Based on saffron Development National Program, the saffron cultivated area is expected to develop in 5 years to over 4000 hectare and a harvest of 14 tons and in 12 years to 70-100 tones. According to concerned sources, at present Afghanistan has become self-sufficient in production and supply of saffron onion and no longer imports it.
Researches show that in the last three years, the government and private sector have undertaken different programs for development and improvement of saffron production and harvesting. Beside that, some international organizations also offer and contribute certain supports through the MoAIL. The government expects to promote saffron harvest to over 100 ton in 2028.
The government authorities said that they have undertaken vast efforts for marketing of saffron products in Gulf countries and China. Some countries have exempted saffron exports to their markets from taxes and custom tariffs according to bilateral agreements. 
So far a MoU has been signed with China for marketing of Afghan saffron and talks are going on with Arabic and European countries. 
  The Kabul Times 

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