Saffron traders in Western Herat province say the Government needs to give them greater assistance in securing visas and exporting their goods overseas, particularly as the ninth Saffron Flower Festival is approaching in the country, Pajhwok News reported.
They assert that saffron from Herat has a distinct reputation in the markets of the neighbouring countries, and the Government ought to support saffron growers and their exports in addition to setting up the necessary framework to let entrepreneurs get international visas to sell the spice.
Nasir Ahmad Nabil, the head of a saffron-producing company, told Pajhwok Afghan News that although saffron prices had significantly increased over the previous year, saffron growers still required Government assistance.
Annual saffron exhibitions, according to Nabil, are intended to promote saffron production in the province of Herat and strengthen the status and worth of Herat saffron.
The Government has to provide saffron growers greater marketing resources because they have made Herat saffron a global brand, he said, according to Pajhwok News.
Due to its superior quality and exclusivity, Herat’s saffron is much sought after by customers in neighbouring countries.
Shafiqa Ataee, the head of the Pashtun Zarghun Saffron Company, stated that although saffron sales were down from prior years, prices were up. According to her, saffron was sold for between 65,000 and 70,000 afs per kilogramme last year, but it is currently selling for 85,000 afs.
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the country’s economic situation has deteriorated. The Afghans have repeatedly complained of lack of basic amenities under the interim Government, and the country is now heavily dependent on humanitarian aid.
(with inputs from ANI)