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Saffron production to increase: MAIL

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By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The government plans to increase saffron products to 14 tons in the next five years, agricultural officials said Sunday.

Lotfullah Rashed, spokesman for the ministry of agriculture said the ministry worked hard to increase the saffron products.

Afghanistan has the capacity of producing of 70 tons of saffron annually, costing $200 million, he added.

Economists believe that Afghan saffron is the best in the world, asking the government to ban exporting it with the foreign trade marks.

Saffron can be a major source of income for Afghan farmers and a great alternative to poppy cultivation.

Afghans brought the idea of saffron cultivation from Iran and planted it in Ghoryan district in Herat Province.

Currently, saffron is growing in over 30 provinces and it will be expanded all over the country soon.

Saffron can be cultivated in many areas. Economically, if each family had half an acre or one acre of land for saffron, Afghanistan would be saved from poverty

Consumers use saffron for medicine, in foodstuff and cooking, and as a remedy for many ailments. Currently, the price of a kilogram of Afghanistan’s saffron in the global markets is around $2,000.  “Saffron can be cultivated in many areas.