The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghanistan’s saffron still secures top global markets

Based in Belgium, the International Institute of Taste has for the 9th time recognized Afghanistan’s saffron as the World’s highest quality saffron in a global competition. Authorities of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock recently said that Afghanistan, the world’s second-largest saffron producer, has been expected to harvest up to 50 tons of saffron this year. Addressing a media meeting, Sadre Azam Osmani, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock of the Islamic Emirate said that the products of Afghanistan have their own standards in the world, but this is the 9th time that the country’s high-quality saffron, mostly grown in the country’s western Herat province, has secured the first position. The country’s highest in quality plant, saffron, is cultivated in 26 provinces of the country, but nearly 90 percent of the herb is harvested in Afghanistan’s western Herat province. According to reports, the head of a Herat-based export company, Najibullah Rahmati, representing Afghanistan in the competition, said that they have been long been working on the plant and for many years, with skilled farmers, processors and taking consultation with them on how to dry it properly, with ultimately, seeing the highly positive results. Reports said that last year, the country exported nearly thirty tons of saffron at the cost of 35 million U.S. dollars to some foreign countries such as India, Saudi Arabia and several other countries and currently, according to the producers, the price of each kilogram of saffron in domestic markets is up to 120,000 Afghani. Local media quoted Mohammad Ibrahim Adil, head of the Afghan Saffron Association as saying that a total of 29,570 kilograms of saffron have been exported over the past eight months to countries like India, Spain, and Saudi Arabia and based on the predictions of the related ministry, the country’s saffron harvest in Herat is expected to increase to 50 tons this year, while last year, in the province, nearly thirty tons of saffron were harvested. Saffron is grown on more than 8,000 hectares of land this year. According to a statement, released by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, 67 tons of saffron worth 49 million U.S. dollars, were exported to India, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Indonesia, Turkey, and the UK, last year. As one of the country’s major export commodities, saffron is mainly cultivated in Herat, Balkh, Kandahar, Sar-ePul, Daikundi, and Uruzgan provinces, while the precious herb is renowned from Herat for its high quality and robust presence in the global markets.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.