Farmers thinking of saffron’s alternative crop
HERAT: (AIP): Saffron crop was cultivated on large areas of land in Afghanistan over the past few years. It brought good outcome. The cultivation of saffron stopped farmers from growing poppy crop. Now the farmers have complained that the price of saffron has dropped down. They are of the view that the farmers would return back to poppy as an alternative crop.
The saffron crop has given highest outcome in Herat province. It found fame in the world. The commodity was exported to various countries of the world.
The AIP correspondent interviewed some farmers of saffron in Herat province. They complained that the price of the commodity had decreased compared to the past.
Some farmers and traders in Herat said that one kilogram of saffron was sold at a prince of Afghanis 40,000 to Afghanis 45000 in the past. However, when they presented the crop in the city for sale, the saffron could only be sold at the price of Afghanis 20,000 to Afghanis 24,000.
They were of the view that saffron was exported to other countries in the past. Foreign companies demanded the supply of commodity. The entrance of currency to Afghanistan has become difficult after Taliban captured the government. The country is facing banking issues. On the other side, trade flights are not conducted from the country. Due to this reason, the price of saffron has gone down.
The farmers told the AIP correspondent that if the same situation persisted, it would adversely affect the economy. Saffron was good sources for their income. However, now this route has been closed on them.
They said that they were thinking of an alternative crop for saffron. The only alternative crop was poppy, they added. The farmers could possibly return to the cultivation of poppy, they lamented.
It is pertinent to mention here that special attention had been given to the cultivation of saffron in the previous government. The agriculture ministry conducted experiments for the cultivation of saffron in Herat and other provinces. They provide assistance to farmers at times. They brought new poppy crop to the country and distributed the commodity among farmers. It is still not known as how much attention the Islamic Emirate would pay to this sector.