Integrated Saffron Production, Extension and Marketing Program
To support local communities in finding positive and licit economic opportunities and to promote their trust in government and international collaborators, RWDOA aims to conduct a multi-component and integrated saffron cultivation and extension program to cover male and female vulnerable farmers in Heart rural areas (8 districts) of the province.
The program components include:
- Provision of Saffron bulbs
- Provision of fertilizers
- Provision of systematic trainings on saffron production, extension and marketing
- Provision of saffron production and marketing toolkits to target farmers
Saffron is one of the valuable products for export and it plays a significant role for the income and employment of Saffron producers. Iran, Greece, Morocco, Kashmir, Spain and Italy are among main countries dealing with Saffron production. There is an excellent market demand for the product worldwide and this serves as opportunity for Afghanistan farmers with respect to high price of Saffron in international markets.
The saffron production season (typically early-mid September through November) is outside the normal cropping season (between March and August) and thus does not compete with the labor or irrigation needs of normal season crops. Income from saffron, via selling stigma (the three to five red filaments or threads growing from the saffron flower) and surplus corms (similar to bulbs), increases yearly. Every three to five years, depending on size of corms initially planted, corms need to be dug-up, divided, and replanted with surplus corms sold.
Saffron cultivation is a new, licit and economically productive crop that has been introduced in Afghanistan in recent years. In Herat, saffron cultivation has been initiated by some farmers sporadically. The farmers don’t have access to the required inputs and are less familiar with the relevant cultivation and growing, harvesting and processing technologies and practices. They are also not very familiar with saffron market channels and business companies to sell their products in optimum price and benefit.
RWDOA aims to empower the farmers to identify and build on a licit source of income that can increase their income generating capacities and contribute to their family economy. RWDOA has implemented similar program and there are many successful stories on the program. RWDOA for its agriculture program for 2017 required USD$150,000. We are seeking donors, governments and foundations to support our programs to have better Afghanistan. Please help us for empowering the poor and vulnerable farmers in Afghanistan