Afghanistan saffron export increased by 14% in 2012
By Meena Haseeb - Mon Jan 07 2013, 9:36 am
The officials further added the increase shows around 200 kilograms of more saffron export as compared to last year.
Afghanistan exported around 1,600 kilograms of saffron during the first nine months of 2012, the officials said adding that the exports of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, celery and other vegetables increased by more than 2,000 tonnes compared to the first nine months of 2011.
The Agency officials also added that the Afghanistan onions are exported to neighboring Pakistan while other vegetables like potato are exported in middle eastern countries.
In the meantime increase in Saffron cultivation and export can be a good news for Afghanistan as the Afghan government has long been struggling to replace opium cultivation by Saffron.
Government officials insist that the Saffron cultivation and export brings more benefit to Afghan farmers as compared to opium and the Afghanistan weather is also suitable for the cultivation of saffron.
Currently saffron is cultivated in eastern Ghazni and western Herat provinces of Afghanistan, while the government is working on plans to encourage more farmers across the country.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices you can buy, but a sharp drop in the price of saffron due to an increase in production is worrying farmers in Afghanistan.
It’s a particular problem there because saffron was supposed to help the country’s economy overcome its dependence on opium production.