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00:00:01
>> A group of women in the western Afghan city of Herat, work to separate orangish-red stigmas from purple flowers. This is saffron, the world's most expensive spice at about $1200 per kilo. Here at the Ariana Saffron factory, it's separated by hand, then dried, and finally packaged. According to the head of the company, Afghan saffron is fast gaining a reputation for its quality.
00:00:25
>>
FOREIGN]
> There will be more job opportunities for women one work said, because all of the saffron works are women, and they take part in the harvesting process.
SOUND] S
ill competition remains fierce from neighboring Iran. Afghanistan produces around 4 tons a year, compared to the more than 200 tons that Iran produces.
00:00:47
And after decades of war and lawlessness, the UN estimates that the opium trade is still bringing in about $3 billion a year. Back in Herat, female workers pick the flower in the delicate harvest process, which is only available for three weeks in October before the flower begins to die.
00:01:06
Besides it's profitability, another bright spot in a in a country struggling to get to it's feet, saffron cultivation provides paid work for women, who's employment is limited by social conventions.>>