Case study

Saffron Business in Herat

The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP) provides support to businesses to help boost income and employment opportunities in Afghanistan.

Mahtab Saffron

Mahtab Saffron company have benefited from AREDP support. As a result, the business now employs more workers and has seen a high increase in revenues, read the story below.

Mahtab Saffron is a saffron company based in Herat in Western Afghanistan. The business started in 2000 to create direct and indirect job opportunities for rural people and increase productivity, income and profitability of the saffron growing industry in Western Afghanistan.

The business produces saffron and saffron bulbs on its own saffron farms located in various districts of Herat province. It also buys saffron bulb from other individuals and businesses in Herat.

The owner of Mahtab Saffron has received training through AREDP, and has received funds to expand his business through learning new methods, using high-end equipment and access to market, which has increased profitability of his business.

With AREDP support, representatives of Mahtab Saffron were able to attend the technical training and exposure visit which was conducted in Kashmir India on techniques for improved plantation, irrigation, drying, processing, packaging and distribution to the market, wholesalers and retailers.

Such technical training has brought big changes in the business. Before the workers lacked technical knowledge for example how to process the plant from diseases and insects. However, after this training of his workers, the owner of Mahtab Saffron was impressed and inspired to expand his saffron business more widely into other districts of Herat province.

The owner of Mahtab Saffron has also undergone many trainings such as basic accounting, advance accounting, marketing, business management and attended a national exhibition which was conducted by AREDP.

Moreover, the products are sold mostly to domestic markets such as Herat, Kabul, Balkh, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces and abroad to buyers in India, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK. After receiving support from AREDP, Mahtab Saffron is now able to hire 7 permanent and 110 seasonal additional employees during the saffron harvesting season, majority of whom are women.

Published 13 July 2015