Nurturing Success: The Inspirational Journey of Shukoria Qadri in Saffron Processing and Empowerment

Shukoria Qadri, an 18-year-old resident of Herat province, specifically in the district of Pashtun Zarghun, shares her remarkable journey of resilience and empowerment. She lives with her seven-member family in a rented house, and her father is engaged in agricultural work.

Despite her strong inclination for continuing her education, Shukoria’s aspirations were hindered by the unfolding changes in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, she couldn’t pursue her studies. To address the economic challenges faced by her family, she made the life-changing decision to join the saffron processing businesses. By becoming a part of the saffron processing team at the Afghan Royal Saffron Company, she embarked on a transformative path. This company, as part of its developmental initiatives, is committed to improving and standardizing saffron trade through the DANIDA (Saffron Organic Growth) project. The project aims to benefit local communities and companies engaged in saffron commerce.

Shukoria anticipates that this project will play a significant role in resolving their life challenges. She shares, “Before joining this project, life had become quite tough for me, as I had no solution for my family’s economic crisis and my uncertain future after the discontinuation of girls’ education.”

However, through her involvement in this project, Shukoria managed to provide financial support to her family, especially considering her father’s illness that prevented him from engaging in physical labor to a greater extent.

Shukoria is an inquisitive individual with a keen interest in learning new subjects. She regards the processing of organic saffron as an entirely novel field. Her takeaway from this project is the realization that organic saffron is one of the healthiest food products available, devoid of any synthetic fertilizers or chemicals, which enhances its nutritional and commercial value. According to her, the most valuable lesson learned from the program is the standardized method of processing organic saffron.

In Shukoria’s view, developmental projects have played a pivotal role in empowering women in the current circumstances. She firmly believes, “This institute has created suitable working conditions for a large number of women, enabling them to overcome economic difficulties.”

Shukoria’s family believes that the organic saffron project has paved the way for her personal growth and hope that she can establish her own business in the field of organic saffron cultivation, fueled by the lessons learned from the project’s training. She also believes that by sharing the educational programs, she can spark the interest of more women in cultivating organic saffron and has already informed her friends and relatives about organic saffron processing.

She envisions that this project will offer further programs in production and marketing, ultimately enabling her to establish a successful trade in organic saffron exports. Shukoria’s message to Afghan women is that they should never give up in the face of challenges and should always strive to overcome obstacles because a successful society requires successful women.

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