A saffron production and processing company has provided job opportunities for at least 400 women in Herat province, in the western part of the country. Most of the women who work in this company are the only breadwinners of their families and they make 160 Afghanis ($1.82) a day. An organization, during the saffron harvesting season, pays these women about 12,000 Afghanis ($136.38) monthly.
The Head of this company, Qasim Alkozai, says that this saffron production and processing company has been operating for about four years now and a number of 400 women work there on a daily basis.
According to Alkozai, about USD 1 million has been invested in this company. The company exports between 8 and 10 tons of saffron every year, he adds.
The job opportunity for these women is permanent. After the saffron harvesting season completes, the employees in this company would get busy cleaning and packing pistachio and raisins.
Maryam and her sister are working in this company. They say they both have a family to support. Maryam is happy that she has an opportunity to work. Other women working in this company want the organizations and the Taliban government to create more job opportunities for women in the country.
Ayesha, who has been working for some time now demands more opportunities for women in sewing, carpet weaving and other professions. Women should play a role alongside men in supporting the family financially, Ayesha adds.
On the other hand, the officials in the Taliban Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Herat province say that the production and processing of saffron provide job opportunities for about 20,000 families.
As saffron harvesting season begins, about one million people in the country are provided with work opportunities, says Bashir Ahmad Ahmadi, director of agricultural affairs of the Taliban Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Herat province. It is worth mentioning that 30 commercial saffron companies are operating in Herat province. According to statistics, more than 80% of employees in these companies are women.