This project proposal is focused on the production, processing and packaging of a substantial amount of saffron in Uruzgan and export to the Netherlands for delivery to customers. Saffron can be regarded as one of the few crops which is suitable for cultivation in the harsh Uruzgan climate and interesting for commercial exploitation. Currently unused land will be rented from local owners and made arable for growing saffron. The bulbs will be planted in two successive years (Sept 2010, 50% and Sept 2011, 50%). For this goal, land lease and cooperation contracts will be prepared on short term. To support saffron production, water irrigation systems will be build, either by building man-made dams or by using solar-powered water pumps. The formation of an agricultural cooperation with local farmers will be stimulated. These farmers will be hired through the cooperation. Many hours of labour is needed to cultivate and harvest saffron annually. This project will produce 10% saffron in 2011, up to 100% saffron in 2015. The workers will be trained in saffron cultivation & harvesting skills and in basic agricultural knowledge . For post-harvest processing, also from third parties, a facility will be build near the production fields for cleaning, sorting, weighing and packaging of saffron. Local women will be trained and employed here. The business case is build up from the annual saffron production and partly leased to local farmers to start their own saffron production. In this way the local area can become a self supporting saffron region. A Dutch partner will buy the saffron according to the cooperation agreement and focus on existing and new market outlets. They will put specific effort in developing a detailed marketing and communication plan for export to EU with particular interest in ‘organic quality’, Fair Trade labelling certificates. Eventually this will lead to a sustainable supply chain creating labour and income in the local region and an increase in international saffron trade. This initiative can be spread to other local areas.
Subsidie vanuit FEOU 2010