KANDAHAR, Dec. 31 – Cultivation of saffron as an alternative to opium has yielded positive results in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, as officials say every acre of land has produced nearly one kilogram of the precious spice.
In an experiment, around 130 acres of land in five districts of Kandahar, including Khakrez, Maiwand, Zherai, Panjwayee and Daman, were cultivated with saffron this year.
Officials say saffron cultivation has yielded good results. Farmers are happy as harvested lands yielded good amount of saffron, but they are concerned about lack of a good market for their products.
Local officials are seeking to find market for saffron said Abdul Ghafor head of plant department of provincial directorate of agriculture and livestock adding that we are in talks with other institutions to find market for saffron for better processing in order to improve the farmers’ economic condition in the future.
According to the data of the directorate, around 80,000 hectares used to be cultivated with poppy in the past, but after the advent of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), farmers have now turned to saffron.