Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. The spice is actually the dried stigma (tiny threadlike strands) of the “Crocus sativus Linnaeus”. Each stigma is very small, and thousands of individual strands go into a single gram of the spice.

Stigmas are extracted by hand from the flowers, making this a very labour-intensive process. Women do most of the work; on the one hand, it is painstaking and meticulous, but on the other, the Afghan saffron industry is one of few that offers reliable employment and economic opportunities for women.

Originally native of the Mediterranean region and Central Asia, most Afghan saffron is grown and processed in Herat Province, and 90% is exported from there. The regions of Ghoryan and Poshton Zarghon are particularly renowned for the quality of their production. This is where Afghanistan Saffron Company has most of its own farmlands, growing saffron on about 90 hectares.