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Determining the Socio-Economic Importance of Saffron as an Alternative Product to Opium Production in Afghanistan

Adem Aksoy, Aziz Ahmad Arsalan
Empirical Economic Review , Volume 2, pp 1-16; doi:10.29145/eer/22/020101

Abstract: The objective of this work is to determine the socio-economic importance of saffron production as an alternative to opium production in Afghanistan, and to determine if saffron production could influence farmers’ incomes. The primary data for the survey was obtained via direct interviews with farmers of 4 saffron leader districts in Herat, where 95% Saffron production was noted during 2016-2017. Factor analysis was used to determine the factors that influence saffron producers. Cluster analysis was used further, to separate farmer income groups. According to the first cluster, the most important factors affecting agricultural production were: negative climatic conditions while market instability was the second factor. Saffron producers’ annual average yield is 6.6 kg/ha in results that showed that if opium production is permitted, saffron farmers would produce opium due to the high revenue associated with opium production in Afghanistan.
Keywords: survey / farmers / alternative / Saffron Production / Opium Production / Production in Afghanistan

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