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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times
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Herat officials, farmers criticize illegal import of substandard Iranian saffron

Illegal import and trafficking of low quality saffron of Iran to Afghanistan’s western province of Herat has increased concerns among farmers and officials of the province.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Nasir Ahmad Durrani says that illegal import of saffron from Iran has its own negative impact on saffron of Afghanistan.During his visit of Herat, minister of agriculture said that illegal import of saffron from neighboring country of Iran not only laid negative impact on the price of our saffron but, has its own negative impact on our saffron in international markets and defame it.
He added that he proposes the government to forbid completely the import of Iranian saffron to Afghanistan and those who import it should be confiscated.
Still, it is not certain how much Iranian saffron is being smuggled to Afghanistan?
The local in-charges in Herat saying that because of exemption of custom duty of Afghanistan saffron in India and China, some individuals belonging to Afghan associations are making effort to gain interests, they export the Iran saffron via Afghanistan to world markets.
Governor of Herat, Mohammad Asif Rahimi says that this issue causes the price of saffron be dropped in this province.He added that via various ways and pretexts, the smugglers import saffron to Herat and the border police instructed to seriously prevent illegal import of saffron into Afghanistan and this year, the farmers sustained losses for this reason.
Within recent years, the farmers of Afghanistan were interesting to cultivate saffron but because of illegal import of Iran saffron, they have less interest.The saffron of Afghanistan has good fame and position in world markets.
One of farmers, Assadullah who is engaged in saffron cultivation says that since the Iranian saffron import began to Afghanistan illegally, the price of their own saffron reduced and faced farmers with challenges and that their interest to saffron cultivation also sustained harm.
He added that “we demand from ministry of agriculture especially from the government to adopt serious measure against low quality smuggling of Iranian saffron to Afghanistan.”
The local authorities in Herat say that the saffron of Afghanistan gained three times first position in world markets.
The cultivators of saffron in Herat concerned with illegal import of low quality Iranian saffron to Afghanistan, beside suffering harms by cultivators of saffron, our saffron that has good fame in the world markets would also be defamed.
Masouda Qarizada

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