Kabul, Sep 18 (IANS) The Afghan government has launched a plan to expand the cultivation of saffron next year, in the latest move to boost the domestic economy in the militancy-hit country, authorities said on Monday.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock will take measures to expand saffron cultivated areas to 3,000 hectares across the country in 2018, a ministry spokesman said.
Saffron cultivation has expanded to 31 of the country’s 34 provinces from only one province a few years ago, reports Xinhua news agency.
In 2017, about 6.5 tonnes of saffron was produced against 6 tonnes last year, according to the ministry.
Afghan saffron in terms of quality has been named as the world’s best by the International Taste and Quality Institute in Brussels.
In local Afghan markets, 1 kg of saffron is priced at 25,000 afghanis ($375) to 110,000 afghanis ($1,654) depending on the quality.
The Afghan government has taken measures to invest in the agricultural sector to further create job opportunities and to boost the country’s economy.
Three decades of war have had a devastating impact on the agriculture sector in the landlocked country.