Iranian saffron exports exceed $147 million

Business Materials 10 October 2012 17:31 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.10/ Trend F.Milad/

Iran has exported roughly 48.4 tons of saffron worth over $147 million during the first six months of the current Iranian year, the ISNA news agency reported.

The exports showed 7 percent increase compared to the same period of the previous year.

Iran's saffron output is forecasted to hit 250 tons by the end of the current year (March 20, 2013), showing 40 tons rise compared to the year before, the head of the association of saffron farmers of South Khorasan Province Ali Hosseini said in May.

Last year, over 130 tons of saffron produce was exported, which was 47 percent more than the figure in its preceding year, Hosseini added.

He put the domestic consumption of saffron at 40 tons approximately.

The Iranian administration has developed a plan for raising the annual saffron output to 500 tons by 2021, according to the Fars news agency.

The plan has envisaged boosting the saffron output to 500 tons in 2021 and boosting exports to over $1 billion.

Iran accounts for around 96 percent of the world's total saffron production. The country exports saffron to 46 countries including European and the Persian Gulf countries.

Due to its diverse climate and fertile soil, Iran's agriculture products are rated among the best in the world with its saffron standing second to none.

Approximately 300 tons of saffron, which is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus, are produced worldwide each year, with Iran, Spain, India, Greece, Azerbaijan, Morocco and Italy accounting for the largest shares, according to Press TV.