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Durrani breaks ground on Saffron Institute in Herat

Durrani breaks ground on Saffron Institute in Herat

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Jan 16, 2019 - 19:35

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Agricultureinfo-icon Minister Nasir Ahmad Durrani on Wednesday laid the foundation of ‘Saffron Institute’ in Herat province, saying Turkey was interested in production and processing of the plant in the western province.

Durrani, who arrived in Herat City to break the ground on the Saffron Institute, said the institute’s building would cost 60 million afghanis to be paid by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

He said the institute’s construction process would take two years to complete and the facility would be used for research, promotion and marketing of Afghanistaninfo-icon saffron.

“Afghanistan saffron has highest quality and that is the reason Turkey has decided to maintain its saffron need which amounts to around 300 kilograms a year from Afghanistan,” Durrani said.

According to Herat’s agriculture officials, saffron production has increased in the province in recent years. The province produces 15 tons saffron annually and meets the need of 90 percent of Afghanistan.

The minister said Turkey was interested to invest in saffron in Herat in areas of processing and packaging of the product before offering it to the worldinfo-icon’s market under Afghanistan trademark.

Herat acting governor Mohayuddin Noori said Turkey had reduced taxes on Afghanistan saffron imports from 30 percent to zero.

A number of saffron traders said they were satisfied with the government’s efforts at promoting saffron in Herat province.

Ghulam Hazart, a saffron grower from Pashton Kot district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he was optimistic saffron’s yield and price would increase due to the government’s efforts.

Sarwar, another saffron grower, said, “We want increase in saffron price like in the past, government efforts can help in this regard.”

Saffron growers in Herat had earlier said the price of one kilogram of saffron plunged from 100,000 afghanis to 30,000 afghanis and warned to return to poppy if the government did not help them find market for their produce.

mds/ma

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