Iran exports saffron to 41 countries
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.14/ Trend F.Milad/
Iran currently exports saffron to 41 countries, Iranian university lecturer Abdollah Molafilabi said at the Saffron; The Red Gold exhibition in the North-eastern city of Ghayen, ISNA reported.
"Iran accounts for 95 per cent of the world's total saffron supply," Molafilabi said, adding that since Iran is the world's greatest saffron producer and that the country can play an important role in setting the price on global markets.
Iran exported some 48.4 tons of saffron worth over $147 million during the first six months of the current Iranian year (ended September 21), the ISNA news agency reported in October.
Exports showed a seven per cent increase compared to the same period previous year.
Head of the association of saffron farmers of South Khorasan Province Ali Hosseini said in May that Iran's saffron output is forecasted to hit 250 tons by the end of the current year (March 20, 2013), showing a 40 ton rise compared to the year before.
Last year, over 130 tons of saffron was exported, which was 47 per cent more than the figure in the preceding year, Hosseini said, adding that the domestic consumption of saffron stands at approximately 40 tons.
The Iranian administration has developed a plan for raising the annual saffron output to 500 tons by 2021. The plan has envisaged boosting the exports to over $1 billion by 2021.
Iran exports saffron to 46 countries including European and the Persian Gulf countries. Due to its diverse climate and fertile soil, Iran's agricultural products are rated among the best in the world with its saffron standing at second to none.
Around 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.