Saffron is one of the most valuable agricultural and medical products, with a special importance to the world’s agro-business. The multi-purpose use, and the medicinal characteristics of saffron have afforded it an ever-increased attention, with investment from other countries thereby causing for it to be increasingly produced, used and exported.
Afghanistan has started to produce saffron since 2001 and this valuable product is currently cultivated in more than 850 Hectares of agricultural land. Afghanistan obtained international recognition for its saffron products in a very short period of time due to its popularity. Recently, the International Taste and Quality Institute in Brussels ranked the Afghan saffron as having the best taste and quality amongst the 300 samples from different countries.
In international markets, Afghan saffron products compete with saffron products from Iran and Spain, but for the third year in a row Afghan saffron has come first in the world. The majority of saffron producers in Afghanistan are (ISO) certified and export their products to Gulf countries, Europe, and the United States of America. Whilst the internationally average price for Afghanistan’s saffron is $2000/kg due to its unique quality and fragrance, demands for it increases this daily.
The Afghan government has also increased its efforts to support saffron production, dubbed today as ‘Afghanistan’s red gold.’ Whilst pleased to receive the three gold star certificate from the International Taste and Quality Institute, the Ministry of Agriculture of Afghanistan has announced for Afghan saffron products that the national council of economy has ratified a 5-year saffron development strategy for the country.
According to this strategy, it is aimed to increase the Afghan saffron products to 14 tonnes per year. Similarly, the office of the President affirmed the ratification of the aforementioned strategy. The Office of the President further stated that it directed the relevant government bodies to implement a procedure under which the Afghan saffron packages are to be labeled with unique bar codes to prevent product fraud.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani indicated that investors from the United Arab Emirates and China are interested to create markets for Afghan saffron in their respective countries. He further affirmed that the Afghan government is ready to cooperate with international investors in Afghan saffron manufacturing and welcomes any efforts in this regards.
Masnad Legal Consultancy