Italy eyes to create saffron plantations in Uzbekistan
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 23
By Klavdiya Romakayeva - Trend:
Five million saffron (crocus) bulbs were shipped from the Italian city of Brescia to Uzbekistan, Trend reports with reference to Dunyo information agency.
According to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Italy, a caravan of several trucks with a cargo of 64,500 tons must overcome 6,800 kilometers and cross Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
It is planned to plant premium bulbs on the hills of the Bakhmal district of the Jizzakh region for the cultivation of saffron.
The project for the cultivation and industrial processing of saffron and other medicinal plants in the Jizzakh region and its export to Italy and other European countries was initiated by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Rome.
Uzbekistan’s BMB Trade Group and Italy’s Opera SRL signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on the implementation of the mentioned project.
The project includes the studying of soil for growing saffron, construction of a research and innovation laboratory for certification, determination of product quality and attraction of professional agronomists and technologists, the supply of modern equipment, and launch of production for the processing of saffron for technical, medical, culinary and other purposes, as well as the organization of packaging and export of products to Italy.
The total cost of this investment project is €34.4 million. Most of the investment will be directed towards the purchase and supply of high-quality saffron bulbs. The project is expected to create about 200 permanent and 7,000 seasonal jobs for the local population.
In addition, the project attracted qualified agronomists and technologists from Italy to Uzbekistan, and in the near future, it is planned to create modern certification laboratories.
On May 1, 2020, the Uzbek-Italian joint venture BMB-Opera Zafferano was established, which operates as a cluster of medicinal plants.
As part of the project, five million bulbs are sent from Brescia, and it is planned to send the remaining 75 million in the coming days.
“Thanks to the favorable investment climate created and the initiatives of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, today new broad opportunities for doing business in Uzbekistan are opening up,” said the president of Opera SRL Paolo de Angelis.
“The administration of the Jizzakh region in a short time allocated 400 hectares of land to our project in the Bakhmal region. We want to create one of the largest saffron plantations in the world, which will allow Uzbekistan to become a leading player in the international market,” Angelis noted.
Together with BMB Trade Group, it is planned to create additional production facilities in the saffron cluster for the production of finished products that are in demand in cooking, pharmaceuticals, and other industries.
Follow the author on Twitter: @romakayeva