Afghan farmers complain about the existence of foreign Saffron in Herat

Afghan women collect saffron flowers in the Karukh district of Herat, Afghanistan, November 5, 2016. Picture taken November 5, 2016. Photo - Reuters/Mohammad Shoib

The Association of Afghan Saffron growers has strongly voiced concern over the sale of non-quality foreign saffron in Herat, named to Saffron of Afghanistan.

The members says that there may be a number of inside and outsider hands in this negative competition.

Although, nobody went to Jail for saffron fraud, Bashir Ahmad Rashidi, chairperson of the Saffron Association of Afghanistan, says he is worried about the negative competition in this regard.

Saffron in Afghanistan

Saffron crocus in Afghanistan (Photo courtesy Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees)

Mr. Rashidi says: “In fact, this can be considered a serious concern. There is no doubt about this because you know that saffron is valuable and has a high value of food. There can be healthy and unhealthy competition in every industry. People inside and outside the country will be involved. “

Herat is leading the field of saffron production in Afghanistan. Pure Herat saffron sells 110,000 to 130,000 AFN ($ 1,600 to $ 1,900) per kilo.

The foreign market is not so good. Mohammad Rafiq Shahir, head of the Herat Council of Experts, says world markets look at the quality of packaging and certification of quality saffron in Afghanistan.

Mr. Shahir says: “We have to observe standards and there must be a clear reference to quality control and quality.” Our problem here is whether the companies themselves should approve the quality of their products or be part of one of the public or international labs. “At this point, we have problems world must accept our standard and shared stamp.”

The Afghan government looks at saffron as an alternative poppy cultivation. The Afghan Ministry of Agriculture says it intends to set up a laboratory to determine the quality of saffron in Herat. The programs also seem to be running on the marketing goal.

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Asadullah Zamir, Afghanistan’s Agriculture Minister, said: “We are moving forward with a long-term vision in the saffron sector as we prepare plans each year. We have developed a five-year plan based on which we need to raise the capacity of companies so that they can export Saffron to European countries, the best saffron market”

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