11 December 2018

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3rd National Saffron Flower Festival Held In Herat

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Third National Saffron Flower Festival held in Herat while harvesting of this valuable plant has increased by two tons in the province.
During the festival, saffron farmers and traders displayed their products in 15 booths in Herat.
But unfortunately, misusing the name of Afghan saffron by Iran has caused that low-quality saffron to be exported to other world countries.
Saffron traders say that the government could not still prevent smuggling Iran saffron to Afghanistan, as after importing to Herat, it is being exported to abroad by the name of Afghan saffron.
They ask the government to impose high tax on saffron imports from the neighboring countries so they can’t harm Afghan saffron’s price and quality.
Bashir Ahmad Rashidi, head of Afghanistan National Saffron Union, expressed his concerns over the exportation of low-quality saffron under the name of Afghanistan and asked the concerned officials to closely watch the export process.
“There is no doubt that Iran saffron is first imported to Afghanistan and then exported to other countries which damages the reputation of Afghanistan saffron products, we should be careful in this regard,” he said.
During the festival, Herat provincial governor, Mohammad Asif Rahimi assured the traders he would prevent such smugglers.
“Herat local administration is seriously working on it and it also controls the saffron being taken to Herat as a gift,” he further said.
A saffron trader in Herat, Mohammad ShokorEsar said such festivals were a good move to aware the people on Afghan saffron products.
Last year, almost three tons of Herat saffron had been exported to the U.S. and other European countries.
According to statistics released by Herat provincial agriculture department, last year, 17000 people had been busy on cultivation and processing of saffron, 80 percent of whom had been women.
Last year, saffron was cultivated in 2,540 acres of land, but this year the number went up to over 3,500 acres and we expect to produce over eight tons of saffron, according to Herat agriculture department.
“Currently Afghanistan’s name has been tainted by drug cultivation and drug production and everyone says that Afghanistan is one of the largest opium suppliers in the world. We hope that one day we are able to produce 90 percent of the world’s saffron,” the provincial governor said.
In addition to the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock’s efforts to promote saffron in the country, the Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development – Facility (CARD-F) NGO is also working for the expansion of saffron cultivation in Herat.

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