Government’s FOREX policies affecting saffron exports – Iran official
Tehran, Iran, July 13
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
The foreign exchange policies adopted by the Iranian government have resulted in decrease of the country’s saffron exports by 40 to 45 percent and increased its smuggling out of the country, Gholamreza Miri, chairman of Iran's National Saffron Center, told Mehr news agency on July 13.
The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market in April amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Saying that the volume of the export has seen relative calm in the past two weeks, he said the red gold’s export has dropped by 40 to 45 percent in the current Iranian fiscal year (started March 21).
Miri said Iran exported 25,669 tons of saffron from May 22 to June 21, registering a decline of 12 tons compared to same period last month.
Saffron cultivation and harvest is a painstaking process which requires 200,000 strands of crimson crocus blooms to be gingerly picked in the morning to make one kilo for sale.
Much of the crop produced by villagers are bought at knockdown prices by local arbiters who themselves sell it to foreign buyers in large stocks. This means the bulk of the added-value accrues to foreign intermediaries, while the genuine produce barely reaches the end consumer.
Saffron cultivation has a history of more than 3,000 years in Iran, where the reddish, aromatic substance is used to flavor food and pastries, with further application in medicine and cosmetics.
Iranian researchers have produced saffron extract for suppressing cancer, lowering blood pressure and curing depression.