Afghan saffron growers hope to produce over 20 tons in 2019

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-22 21:31:57|Editor: Wu Qin
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KABUL, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Afghan saffron products are estimated to exceed 20 tons in 2019, a local paper reported Saturday.

The factor behind the rise in saffron product is proper climate conditions and the experiences the growers have gained from past years' plantation, the weekly, Dehqan (The Farmer Weekly), said in its latest edition.

"Taking in mind the climate changes, helpful experiences and highly produced saffron bulbs last year, the product is expected to reach more than 20 tons this year," the paper quoting senior advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Mohammad Hashim Aslami as saying.

According to the paper, training workshops to help grow the precious plant and harvest high quality products in the country are expected to be held in all the 34 provinces as per the plan of the ministry's provincial programs.

The government's ban on illegal saffron import from abroad has encouraged Afghan saffron growers to expand their cultivation, which has created hundreds of jobs in the poverty-stricken nation.

Before the ban, saffron growers were desperate with their sale of 30,000 afghanis (about 375 U.S. dollars) per kilogram. But now one kilogram of saffron is reportedly sold for up to 90,000 afghanis (1,125 U.S. dollars) on the national market.

Afghan Saffron growers produced 12 tons of saffron in 2017. In 2018 the product reached over 16 tons in the country.