Turkey which reportedly needs up to 300 tons of saffron a year will turn into a major customer of Afghanistan’s saffron, said Ali Arghon Chin, of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
Statistics show that Afghanistan produces 15 tons of saffron annually, most of which is produced in Herat province in the west of the country.
Chinar said they will continue to remove the 30 percent tariffs on Afghanistan’s saffron.
“We want to boost the market for Afghanistan’s saffron through Turkey. I hope that the saffron reflect its Afghan identity,” said Chinar.
Officials from Afghanistan’s Saffron Producers Union said Turkey can play as an important bridge for exporting the product to United States and Europemarkets.
“Removing customs charges will be helpful in this regard and it will be an achievement for saffron sector if it is implemented,” said Qudratullah Rahmati, deputy head of the union.
The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Nasir Ahmad Durrani, meanwhile, said Turkey’s interest in buying saffron from Afghanistan will address the concerns raised by farmers over lack of markets.
Durrani said TIKA officials have told him that Turkey needs 300 tons of saffron annually and that part of this demand will be provided from Afghanistan.
“The Turks have decided to import their needed saffron from Afghanistan,” said Durrani.
“Exporting saffron to Turkey will help Afghan farmers and national economy. It will enable us to improve the product in terms of quality and quantity,” HeratActing Governor Mahyuddin Noori said.
Afghan saffron is considered among the best in the world and has scooped international awards on numerous occasions.