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1391 a good year for saffron export in Afghanistan

in Afghan Business

1391 a good year for saffron export in Afghanistan

saffronAccording to the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA), Afghanistan witnessed a 95% increase in its saffron export.

Saffron exports augmented to more than 2.8 tons last year.

The officials linked the increase to improvement in the product packaging and better marketing.

“There has been an increase in 1391 compared to that of 1390, for packing, process, and the marketing carried out,” Tolo News quotes Sayed Azim Mustafa Hashimi, head of the EPAA’s Raisins, Fruits, and Vegetables department.

The well-known Afghan spice secured first place for its quality from among 16 other countries last year in a saffron fair in France.

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  1. Mehdi Barghchi PhD
    Mehdi Barghchi PhD 8 April, 2013, 22:38

    It is fortunate that high quality saffron production has been achieved in Afghanistan and this has been acknowledged in an exhibition in France. Saffron can play an important role in providing a high value agricultural crop and earning hard currency for Afghanistan. Increased saffron production will be a valuable activity for Afghanistan as it demands high labour input which will help employment situation in the countryside.

    Many areas that are used to grow poppy for opium production can be used for saffron production too. As Saffron provides much higher income than poppy production, it will compete with Poppy production. As it would be helpful and advantageous to reduce opium production and replace it with another suitable crop for the farmers, saffron is an ideal choice. Furthermore, there has been massive technological improvement in breeding and production of Saffron corms (starting material to grow saffron) which are used for plantation. If the production of this valuable crop is to be promoted in the region, it would make sense to benefit from advancements of science and technology in Saffron production rather than simply copy the old ways and methods which are inferior. For example, each plant of saffron will produce a new plant for the following year and if it is diseased (virus infection is very common), the yield in the following year will be reduced in quality and quantity. We have the technology to produce thousands of new superior and improved plants from one plant in a year rather than just one or two which is achieved trough the conventional methods (virus-free / disease free and genetically improved through micro-propagation). So it would be good to use the technology to provide high quality and healthy starting material to give to saffron farmers to improve quality and increase quantity of this valuable high value crop for Afghanistan.

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