The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) has reported that Saffron production has dropped by around 50 percent during the recent years.

According to a statement released by MAIL, the farmers and Saffron producers were previously harvesting and producing 4 kgs of Saffron from each hectare of land cultivated with Saffron plant.

However, the production level of Saffron has dropped to 2.6 kgs per hectare of land during the past 17 years which shows a production vacuum of 80 percent.

The statement released by MAIL further added that the production level of Saffron has declined mainly due to lack of access of farmers to modern cultivation practices and equipment, lack of access to high quality Saffron plants, lack of awareness regarding modern procedures to increase the cultivation of Saffron plants, and lack of information regarding the proper timing to irrigate the Saffron plants, mainly the irrigation process in the first stage after plants are cultivated.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock says the ministry is working to implement various programs, including capacity building activities, training, and research programs in the framework of short-term workshops to resolve the issue. The workshops will be organized locally and internationally.

The ministry also added that standard demonstrative farms would also be created and practical steps would be taken for the execution of research projects to boost Saffron production in the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock also expressed concerns regarding a sharp decline in foreign buyers to purchase Afghan Saffron, reduction in Saffron prices, and lack of expertise, emphasizing that the ministry has plans to cope with the mentioned issues during the current year.