Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Saturday said a pilot project in Paktia to grow saffron has worked and that next year more plants will be cultivated.
The ministry has now cultivated saffron fields in 33 provinces of the country including Herat, Faryab, Kabul and Logar.
According to MAIL officials, last year Paktia fields yielded 18kg of high quality saffron.
MAIL spokesman Akbar Rustami said they have plans to increase cultivation of saffron in Paktia.
Rustami said this year they will distribute over 1,000kg of saffron bulbs to farmers in the province.
“This year we will distribute 245 tons of saffron bulbs to farmers to promote saffron cultivation and expand it in the country,” Rustami said.
A number of economic analysts meanwhile said currently some farmers cultivate drugs in the province and that saffron could be a good alternative.
“Zurmat is one of the insecure districts. When farmers in this district cultivate saffron instead of drugs, then government should support them,” economic analyst Ehsanullah Zadran said.
Last year 10,6 tons of saffron was harvested in the country. A number of saffron cultivators and traders said government should seek good markets for Afghanistan saffron in the region, especially in China.