The saffron sector presents a significant opportunity to GIRoA. Saffron is one of the fastest growing sectors of global industries, consumption, and trade due to usage in various purposes. Developing and transition economies such as Afghanistan will play a leading role in producing good quality saffron in the region.
Saffron products are rarely consumed in every household due to the high prices and are an ideal nutrients and chemical compounds which are beneficial in medicinal combination. Only 4 MT of saffron is produced throughout Afghanistan although the climate is favourable in many of the provinces. Such shortages offer opportunity to create new employment and increase rural wealth, through an integrated value chain investment approach.
A major constraint to domestic production identified by MAIL and CARD-F is the result of lack of quality, vertical integration between saffron producers, input suppliers and the consumer market. The presently disaggregated value chain is inefficient and cannot return market messages to producers. Producers, in turn are unable to respond to opportunity, through lack of inputs, skills, knowledge and investment finance.
CARD-F’s experience has shown that there is insufficient and weak quality supply of domestically produced saffron products, Lack of a sustainable and effective flow of products through the poorly integrated value chain is compounded by lack of knowledge, advisory services, and quality public control mechanisms.
Extension of investment in the saffron sub-sector itself needs to be combined and integrated with other essential activities within the national and international chain activities like added value agro-industry, quality management and other capacity building and wider economic development policy.
The Project designed by CARD-F in partial support of Saffron sector in line with MAIL saffron strategic framework which includes:
- Capacity building training to 500 male farmers, 500 women farmers which include 100 male and 100 female new farmers that covers by the project as model farming to start saffron cultivation and later scale up. The training undertakes pre and post-harvest saffron cultivation and management as well as marketing and promotional activities.
- CARD-F will provided inputs (Urea, DAP and Corm) to at least 100 new male farmers and post-harvest saffron kit to 500 female producers, while farm management and farm level training and extension package was provided to 500 male farmers including the new ones.
Upgrading Processing Facilities
- Upgrading at least three existing processing, drying and packaging facilities with quality control and testing lab and certification,
- Facilitating attendance of potential producers/traders in saffron marketing and promotion festival.
- Supporting the establishment of a strong and functional association and assist them in capacity building and administrative front. Meanwhile a saffron promotion and marketing campaign was initiated.