TİKA Supports Farmers in Afghanistan

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) distributed 16 tons of domestically produced saffron bulbs to 40 farmers in Afghanistan’s Herat Province and offered technical training.  

Around 95 percent of the total volume of the saffron plant, which has risen to prominence in the Afghan economy in recent years, is harvested in Herat and in the surrounding region. Saffron has a strategic and critical importance for the region’s economy because as saffron cultivation increases, the area dedicated to opium poppies, which are used for the production of narcotics, dwindles.

In Herat, many farmers were struggling to procure saffron bulbs due to financial obstacles.  Therefore, in order to help saffron cultivation and turn saffron into an economic asset, TİKA distributed 16 tons of saffron bulbs to 40 farmers with each one getting 400 kilograms.

In cooperation with Herat Directorate of Agriculture, in the districts of Zendeh Jan, Karukh, and Ghurian, agreements were signed with families, who own suitable lands and who have past experience with saffron cultivation, and the bulbs were distributed. According to the agreements, 10% of the saffron bulbs will be collected from the harvests of the beneficiary families and they will be distributed to other farmers. The goal is to increase saffron cultivation, increase its quality and enable more families to participate in the production.

Furthermore, the farmers were also provided with theoretical and practical training on saffron production to increase production efficiency and quality.