HERAT, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 09: Afghan workers pluck saffron flowers on a farm on November 09, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. Around 2500 farmers, in eight provinces, are working on saffron farms for ... more 
HERAT, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 09: Afghan workers pluck saffron flowers on a farm on November 09, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. Around 2500 farmers, in eight provinces, are working on saffron farms for export mostly to India and some European countries. The trade in saffron is estimated to be of an annual value in excess of 200 million USD to Afghanistan. Agricultural produce programmes including Saffron are being offered to farmers as an alternative to the harvesting of poppies, used in the production of heroin and in breaking reliance upon financial support provided by drug organisations linked with counterinsurgency elements such as the Taliban. In western Herat province, which borders Iran, the challenge is seen to be to be able to convince farmers of the long term benefits of replacing the growing of poppies with the purple crocus plants whose highly prized stigmas produce the spice used for seasoning and colouring agent in cooking. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) less 
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Getty Images | Photo By Majid Saeedi / Getty Images
Thu, Nov 11, 2010 11:33 AM EST