Mumbai: (Press release) The Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Mumbai, in association with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), and Indian Chamber of International Business (ICIB) hosted the Afghan Saffron Promotion Virtual Conference on 6th April, 2021. The program focused on promoting the trade of Afghan saffron to India. Over 100 participants attended, including Indian importers and Afghan exporters. Afghan Saffron recently won the International Taste Award – World’s Best- in Brescia, Italy.
During the opening remarks, Consul General of Afghanistan in Mumbai Ms. Zakia Wardak, the first woman to hold her post, shared that “By promoting the export of saffron, the world’s most valued spice, we are helping to economically empower the farmers, growers, and producers of saffron, many of whom are women.”
USAID/Afghanistan Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones shared, “USAID, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is working with Afghan and Indian private and public sectors to increase saffron supply, reduce trade costs, and better serve Indian markets and consumers. Together, we are working to improve farming techniques so Afghan farmers can sell more, high-quality saffron while adhering to important safety guidelines. As today’s event demonstrates, we continue to find more effective ways to promote Afghan goods around the world.”
Mr. Shabeer Bashardost, Export Promotion Director, Minister of Industry and Commerce from Afghanistan, notably shared, “In 2019, Afghanistan saffron exports was $17.38 million to India, and in 2020 the exports reached $19.08 million. Over the last five years, Afghan saffron exports to India has increased by 80 percent.”
“Manpreet Singh, President of the Indian Chamber of International Business, commented, “The market opportunity in India for saffron and Afghanistan is wide open. I know that Afghan saffron is winning international quality and taste awards. The price is also right. The only problem is that consumers do not know this.”
This event was attended by dignitaries from World Trade Center Mumbai, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce & Industries, World Trade Center- Kabul and Hirat Chamber of Commerce & Industries.