HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): The Saffron Farmers Association in western Herat province on Thursday said around 50 percent of saffron produced in the province this year could not be exported abroad.
Bashir Ahmad Rashidi, the Afghanistan Saffron farmers’ association head in Herat, said 18 tons of saffron was produced in the country this year but more than eight tons remained with growers and saffron production companies and were not exported abroad.
He said the saffron could not be exported due the Covid-19 pandemic, cancellation of flights and negligence of the government.
According to him, in the past three months, saffron production companies and growers have not been able to even send the produced saffron to capital Kabul.
He warned if the government did not find a foreign bazaar for their saffron, the saffron industry would stop it activity.
“This season we harvested about 18 tons of saffron in Afghanistan, but between 50 and 60 percent of the crop was not exported abroad and left with sellers and companies”, he said.
A number of other saffron growers held similar views and urged the government to take measures for finding bazaar for produce in near future.
Nisar Ahmad, a saffron firm’ head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he bought 250 kilograms of saffron this year but it remained unsold to the closure of ports.
Meanwhile, Herat deputy director of agriculture department also confirmed the issue and said the saffron could not be exported due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year.
He said if protected well, saffron could not damage in two years. He said three to four certificates were distributed to saffron companies on a day basis and 10 to 15 companies were involved in export of the crop.