DACAAR | Danish Committee for Aid Afghan Refugees
Side by side with the Afghan people since 1984 English | Danish

ISO - a window toward globalizing Afghanistan’s “Red Gold”







Saffron is known as the “red gold "and is the world's most expensive spice. But as an object of desire, it can also be a victim of fraud. Low quality saffron is often traded on international markets and the specifications for pure saffron are not always respected.

DACAAR is proud to announce that the Saffron Association of Barnabad in Herat province received in July 2019 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 3632-1 : 2011 and 3632-2 : 2010 certificates. DACAAR supported the certification process which lasted one year.

The ISO certificates are valid for two years and will substantially increase the saffron producers' probability to sell their saffron on the international market. The ISO 3632-1 gives consumers the assurance and confidence that the saffron is authentic and safe to consume. The ISO 3632-2 certificate specifies test methods for dried saffron.

The Saffron Association has 233 members (56%women). These members received the following trainings: land and saffron onion selection, cultivation and irrigation methods, pest control, fertilizer usage, weeding and harvesting, as well as processing and packaging.

Barnabad saffron PA
Registered in 2010
Registration renewed in 2017
Members: 233 beneficiaries (56% Female)
Land under saffron cultivation 510 Jeribs (252 acres)
DACAAR started planting saffron in Herat in 1998 with 4 farmers in Herat province. One of them, Mullah Haji Mohammad Akbar, became known as 'The Father of Saffron in Afghanistan' and in 2009 was awarded the prestigious Wazir Akbar Khan Medal by President Hamid Karzai for his promotion of saffron in Herat province. By 2007 more than 300 farmers in Herat followed Mullah Akbar's example and switched from poppy to saffron production, benefiting from the high market prices for the world's most expensive spice. Most recently, DACAAR has been teaching saffron cultivation to 957 farmers (28% female) in Faryab, Herat and Khost provinces.