Saffron yield in Herat soars by 25pc to 4 tonnes
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): More than four tonnes of saffron spice were produced in 2015 in western Herat province, indicating a 25 percent increase over 2014, agriculture officials said on Tuesday.
Because of the higher yield of saffron in the province, 2015 could be called a golden year for farmers, Deputy Director of Agriculture Bashir Ahmad Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Last year, 750 hectares of land was cultivated with saffron in 2015, while this year the area had increased to 1,000 hectares of land, the official said.
In 2014, he recalled, the yield of saffron stigmas was nearly three tonnes while last year the spice production soared to more than 4 tonnes, registering a 25 percent rise.
Additionally, 2015 saw a profitable market for the crop, with one kilogram of stigmas accounting for 110,000 afghanis to 130,000 afs in the local market.
“More than 250 tonnnes of saffron corms were also produced by farmers and sold in other provinces,” he said.
Abdul Khaliq, a saffron growers from Pashtun Zarghon district, cultivated 1.4 acres of land with the crop, He said he was happy with the yield of the precious medicinal plant.
If the government provided international marketing facilities, the cultivation of saffron would increase rapidly and provide work opportunities for many people.
Khurshid Afghan Firm Manager Shakoor Isar said last year's price of one kilo of saffron was around 80,000afs. This year one kilogram accounted for 30,000 to 40,000afs.
His company sells the spice in the local market and exports some amount to Germany and India. Saffron is a semi-tropical perennial crop usually grown in areas with mild winter and dried summer.
The crop is harvested in November and the flower of the spice is picked in the morning time before sunrise.
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