MIHTARLAM, Afghanistan, Oct. 2 (UPI) — An official in Afghanistan’s Laghman Province says the introduction of a saffron crop to the Mehtar Lam district should prove beneficial.
Mohammad Ismail Dowlatzai, agriculture director for the province, said the profitable crop was introduced at a Laghman Agricultural Research and Development Center ceremony this week, the U.S. Defense Department said in a release Friday.
“This is a great day for Laghmanis, and I hope this will bring prosperity for our people,” Dowlatzai said.
Saffron, which is a type of crocus or perennial flowering plant, can be used as a food colorant or cooking spice once ground up finely.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Roger Beekman of the Kansas National Guard agribusiness development team that helped introduce the saffron crop also offered words of hope during Tuesday’s ceremony.
This is a monumental occasion for Laghmanis, and it all starts right here,” Beekman said. “We are growing Laghman’s future one seed at a time.”
Kabul University associate professor Massood Sayeed, who helped with the crop effort, said the first saffron harvest should take place within 40 days.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International