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Declining saffron price worries Herat farmers

Declining saffron price worries Herat farmers

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Oct 16, 2018 - 20:17

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Saffron growers in western Herat province say they are concerned about the 50 percent decline in the crop’s price in international markets.

According to farmers, last year the price of one kilogram of Afghanistaninfo-icon’s saffron was 100,000 afghanis in the global market but price of the same quantity hovered between 40,000 and 50,000 afghanis this year.

Mohammad Ibrahim, an experienced farmer in Pashton Zarghon district of Herat, said he cultivated saffron on 7.5 acres of land, but the decline in its price made him disappointed.

“The price of saffron declined by a half this year but last year one kilogram of saffron was sold for 110,000 afghanis while this year the price is down to 50,000 afs,” the 51-year-old said.

He cited continued drought, import of saffron from Iran and lack of international market as main reasons behind the declining price of saffron.

Khalil Ahmad, another farmer from Pashton Zarghon district, also expressed disappointment over the declining price of saffron and warned if the import of saffron from Iran was not stopped, the global price of the valuable crop would suffer further decline.

The price of one kilogram of saffron would slip to 20,000 afghanis if the crop import from Iran was not stopped, he warned.

Bashir Ahmad Rashidi, head of the Saffron Growers in Herat, said the lack of exports to \global markets caused almost 50 percent decline in the price of saffron.

“Unfortunately our saffron import volume is small and another reason is the smuggling of Iranian saffron to Afghanistan which damaged the global market,” he said.

Atiqullah Romal, director of statistics and figures at the Agricultureinfo-icon Department, said: “In the past, saffron was smuggled from Iran into Afghanistan but currently orders to stop the smuggling had been issued and it is expected that after the halt of smuggling from Iran, the price of saffron will remain constant.”

Over 10 tons of saffron was collected from fields this year in Herat, while in the coming season, over 12 tons of saffron is expected to be produced.

nh/ma

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