(MENAFN - Pajhwok Afghan News) BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Saffron cultivation on an experimental basis has produced encouraging results in central Bamyan province over the last two years, officials say.
Agriculture and Livestock Extension Director Mohammad Ayub Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News saffron was experimentally cultivated on nine plots of land for the first year.
Saffron was grown again for a second year on five plots of land in Kohmard district and Bamyan City
Ahmadi said saffron yield was higher in warm areas. The experiment of planting saffron in Kohmard district and the provincial capital had given the desired result, he added.
In the initial phase, the official explained, each acre of land produced 80 kilograms of saffron, whose income was less than potatoes. But with the multiplication of saffron bulbs, the income can be significantly higher.
Agriculture and Livestock Director Abdul Wahab Mohammadi said saffron bulbs were brought from Herat and they were trying to increase the area under cultivation in Bamyan.
The Bayat Development Foundation has distributed Saffron bulbs to farmers in Waras, Punjab and Shebar districts, he revealed, saying the agriculture department was also helping the growers.
During the current year, 66 fruit plants, including apples, apricot, plum, grape and walnut, have been cultivated in 1,322 orchards. He hoped for bumper production from these orchards.
The agriculture department has drawn up several plans to improve the cultivation and harvest of different crops besides mechanisation of agriculture in this province.
Bamyan is one of the cold provinces, where 90 percent of the population is depending on agriculture. Fifty percent of potatoes in the country are produced in this province.
Mohammad Nasim, a grower who has cultivated saffron on two acres of land in the Bamyan capital, told Pajhwok the crop yielded a better harvest in warm areas.
There is plenty of water in Bamyan City, where potato yield has increased and the cultivation of saffron is also on the rise. If saffron bulbs are sold, its income may surpass that from potatoes.
He said lack of saffron bulbs and its transfer from Herat was a problem farmer faced in Bamyan. Bringing bulbs from Herat province is impossible for us, he added.
Saffron was primarily cultivated in Herat province, where a good outcome prompted authorities and farmers to cultivate the spice in several other provinces. S