Monday, September 26, 2011

Saffron or opium?

I have been following this for awhile, saffron is a viable alternative because it competes with the profit margin of opium, it's also labour intensive and does not require a large robust transportation system. According to one source I know, most of the top quality Saffron comes from Spain, the rest is a blend of different crops. I certainly hope this works out for the Afghans.

Farmers’ fields outside the western Afghanistan city of Herat are about to blossom into a purple form of gold.
Once rife with poppy, the lucrative spring crop used to produce heroin, these plots are now seeded with saffron flowers. They yield the burnt orange granules that trade as the most expensive spice in the world. At its highest quality, saffron sells for between $2,000 and $4,000 per kilogram in global markets, enticing farmers to switch their allegiance from opium, which sells as little as a tenth as much.

read the rest at "Globe and mail"


  1. Actually, from what I found, Indian saffron is the best in the world. Spanish saffron is said to be the most widely available saffron in the world.

  2. The Persians around here of course claim that the best comes from Iran, I wonder if the soil adds to the flavour?