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    Kandahar farmers trained in saffron cultivation

    KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Two hundred farmers completed a month-long training course on saffron cultivation in southern Kandahar province on Saturday, an official said.

    Arranged by the Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department, the training was attended by farmers from the provincial capital, Kandahar City, and districts.

    Apart from attending theoretical classes, the growers were also taken to saffron fields in western Herat province, bordering Iran, which accounts for 70 percent of the world's saffron production.

    Eng. Ahmad Shah Roshan, the department's director, told Pajhwok Afghan News the farmers were also briefed on market value of the costliest spice, seen as a major alternative to the poppy crop. The training programme was aimed at discouraging poppy cultivation in Kandahar.

    "Saffron can be a good replacement for the poppy crop only if the government provides growers access to international market," said Fida Mohammad, one of the trainees.