Afghans consider poppy as saffron price drops

With saffron prices falling by 80 per cent due to a glut in Iran, farmers are considering an illicit alternative

    Saffron is one of Afghanistan's biggest cash crops, fetching top prices since it was first introduced to the mostly arid farmland 20 years ago.

    But saffron first entered Afghanistan to keep farmers away from the country's other top product - poppy harvested to make heroin.

    With the key market in neighbouring Iran, where high quality Afghan saffron is repackaged as Iranian product, flooded, farmers say they might have to switch to poppy to make ends meet.

    Haji Akbar, one such farmer, says he now fetches $1,000 for a kilo of saffron that he used to sell for five times as much.

    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports from Pashtun Zarghun.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.