Afghanistan: Farmers pleased with saffron yield Increase in Kandahar

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Local farmers have reported a significant boost in saffron production in Kandahar province, marking a positive shift from previous years.

In light of the increased yield, they have urged local officials to improve market access for their crops. Kandahar, historically a major producer of poppies and narcotics alongside neighboring Helmand province, is witnessing a transformation.

“Saffron, often referred to as ‘red gold,’ is an invaluable crop,” said Mohammad Daud, a Kandahar farmer. The agricultural community believes that with enhanced focus on saffron cultivation and access to modern farming techniques, the region could see prosperous harvests.

Mohammad Osman, another local farmer, expressed satisfaction with the support for growing permissible (Halal) rather than forbidden (Haram) crops. “We’re encouraged by the commitment to promote the cultivation of Halal plants,” Osman noted.

According to local officials, approximately 1,200 acres across the Panjwai, Dand, Daman, Maiwand, and Khakriz districts have been planted with saffron instead of poppies. “From each acre, we harvested about 1 kilogram of saffron, which sells for between 85,000 and 90,000 Afghanis. This serves as an effective alternative to poppy cultivation and has yielded positive results in several districts,” stated Shams Rahman Musa, head of Kandahar’s Department of Agriculture and Irrigation, under Taliban administration.

Saffron remains one of Afghanistan’s primary agricultural exports.