Roses from Afghanistan

 

In order to combat the opium trade in the long term – 80 percent of the world's heroin supply comes from Afghanistan – it is essential to offer the people an alternative means of securing a livelihood. In October 2004, on the initiative of German Agro Action, a project for producing rose oil was therefore started in which 400 farmers are now growing Damask roses on 60 hectares of land. With the production of rose oil an ancient Afghan tradition was brought back to life and the first harvests were convincing as regards both quantity and quality.

WALA first expressed an interest in the Afghan rose oil in the summer of 2006 and has since been supporting the project with expertise and know how. The cooperation provides the manufacturer of natural skin care products with an additional source of the costly commodity in view of the steadily growing demand for oils from ecologically cultivated plants. The collaboration between WALA and German Agro Action was made possible by the fact that the farmers were willing to undergo certification to comply with the requirements of natural skin care.