KABUL, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Saffron production in Afghanistan has risen to record levels this year with a 22 percent increase compared to last year, Afghan Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock said Wednesday.
"The latest statistics of Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock showed that saffron or so-called 'red gold' production increased 22 percent, reaching 13 metric tons this year," the ministry said in a statement.
About 15,610 acres of land were cultivated saffron in 33 of the country's 34 provinces this year, producing 12,955 kg of saffron, which is nearly 13 metric tons, according to the statement.
Extensive training has been carried out in training and capacity building sector, and more than 6,600 saffron workers have been trained on production, processing and packaging of saffron this year, the statement read.
Nearly 90 percent of saffron production is exported abroad, the statement added.
"Saffron farmers received some 17 million U.S. dollars in revenues by selling saffron crocin and picrocrocin in local markets; considering the fact that some 90 percent of Afghan saffron are being exported to foreign countries," the statement read.
In 2017, about 10.6 tons of saffron was produced across the mountainous country, according to the statement.