Saffron

To go with story Afghanistan-unrest-agriculture   In this photograph taken on November 18, 2014, Afghan workers carry picked saffron flowers to be delivered to a farmer in the Ghoriyan District of Herat. Saffron cultivation needs lots of land and a lot of labour, but the world's most expensive spice might be an economic lifeline for Afghanistan with international financial support set to fall in the coming years. In Herat, about 6,000 people -- 4,000 of them women -- are employed in saffron farming on 800 acres (325 hectares) of land, with the product exported to India, Europe, the United States and China. AFP PHOTO / Aref KARIMIAref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images

Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty

Workers deliver saffron flowers to a farmer in the Ghoriyan district of Herat. Saffron cultivation requires a great deal of land and intensive labour, but the world’s most expensive spice could be an economic lifeline for Afghanistan. In Herat, about 6,000 people – 4,000 of them women – are employed in saffron farming on 800 acres of land. 

Afghanistan Saffron...epa03968559 A picture made available on 28 November 2013 shows Afghan women collecting Saffron flowers from the feilds in Gozara district of Herat, Afghanistan, 27 November 2013. Saffron has been indicated as an alternative to opium, while the price and demand for it is increasing day by day. Saffron is one of the highly prized spices known since antiquity for its color, flavor and medicinal properties.  EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

Jalil Rezayee/EPA

Afghan women collecting saffron flowers from fields in the Gozara district of Herat. Saffron is prized for its colour, flavour and medicinal properties. It has been indicated as an alternative to opium, and the price and demand for it is increasing.