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Empowering Afghan Farmers Through Saffron: A US Veteran's Tale

Empowering Afghan Farmers Through Saffron: A US Veteran's Tale

Ladderworks Spiffy Interview of Kimberly Jung Rumi Spice

Hi everyone! This Memorial Day, I bring to you the inspiring story of veteran Kimberly Jung, Co-Founder, Rumi Spice. 

SPIFFY: What challenge are you addressing?

Kimberly: Economic empowerment of Afghan farmers and women.

SPIFFY: Why do you do it?

Kimberly: I served a deployment as a US Army soldier in Afghanistan. Afghanistan deserves a place in the international market as a producer of a valuable good. These farmers are not recipients of charity; they are our partners in the supply chain.  

SPIFFY: Tell me about a recent milestone by your organization. What impact does that make? 

KIMBERLY: Rumi Spice hired 3,750 Afghan women and worked with over 300 farmers, some of whom switched over to saffron from poppy (opium) farming, during our harvest this year 2019. 

SPIFFY: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?

KIMBERLY: We are all nodes in the same network of the human organism. Your actions can affect others in a ripple effect. 

Kimberly Jung is a graduate student in mechanical engineering at MIT. She earned her MBA from HBS and graduated from West Point in 2008. Kim served 5 years active duty as an Army combat engineer with a deployment to Afghanistan. She co-founded Rumi Spice, an international spice company that delivers premium Afghan saffron to Michelin star restaurants and grocery stores around the world.