After several failed attempts to eradicate the opium trade in Afghanistan by persuading poppy farmers to grow less remunerative, but legal crops, British government advisors are developing plans to persuade them to grow the valuable fragrant colouring saffron instead.

The decision came as Afghanistan’s opiate production is now at an all time high, accounting for 75% of the world’s heroin supply.

The advisors are pushing saffron because it is lucrative; a farmer can earn US$170 per kilo of saffron crocus stigma and although that is half earned from the same amount of poppy gum, it is much better than wheat profits, where 10 pounds earns just $2.