Afghan Saffron Ranked the Best in the World
Saffron as one of the most valuable agricultural, and medical products, with a special importance in the world’s agro-business. The multi-purpose use, and the medical characteristics of saffron afforded it an ever-increased attention, and investment from other countries, thereby causing for it to be increasingly produced, used, exported.
Afghanistan has started to produce saffron from 2001, and currently this valuable product is cultivated in more than 850 Hectares of agricultural land. Afghanistan obtained international recognition for its saffron products in a very short period of time. Recently, the International Taste, and Quality Institute in Brussels ranked the Afghan saffron as having the best taste, and quality among the 300 samples from different countries.
In international markets, Afghan saffron products compete with saffron products from Iran and Spain, and its for third year in a row that Afghan saffron comes first in the world. Majority of saffron producers in Afghanistan are (ISO) certified, and export their products to Gulf countries, Europe, and the United States of America. While on average, Afghanistan’s saffron is internationally sold $2000/kg. but due to its unique quality, and fragrance, demands for it increases daily.
The Afghan government has also increased its efforts to support saffron production, dubbed today as ‘Afghanistan’s red gold.’ While pleased to receive three gold star certificate from the International Taste, and Quality Institute, for Afghan saffron products, the Ministry of Agriculture of Afghanistan has announced 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 tones per year. Similarly, the office of the President affirmed the ratification of the aforementioned strategy. The Office of 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 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.