Official: Saffron can be base for rural development

Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Prov., Nov 27, IRNA – Chairman of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture said here on Wednesday that despite numerous deprivations and limitations in Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan provinces saffron can be considered a base for progress of rural development in the two provinces.
Speaking at a national saffron conference here, Gholamhossein Shafeie said saffron is a unique commodity as no similar commodity can be found in the world market with such a production power.

Shafeie who is also head of the National Saffron Council, further remarked that today saffron cultivation is the only hope for the livelihood of many rural people in not developed areas of the two provinces therefore even if the product is called “super strategic commodity” it is still not enough.

He said although saffron is an honor of the exports of Khorasan Razavi and Khorasan Jonoubi (South) still not enough attention has been paid to it although the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad and agencies in the private sector have taken valuable measures in this regard the most important of which is the compilation of the ‘Comprehensive Saffron Plan’.

However, he commented, despite its importance the plan has not become operational yet, expressing the hope that under the new conditions prevailing in the country the matter will be revised for the implementation of the comprehensive plan.

Elsewhere in his remarks Shafeie pointed to water crisis and said today one of the topics which should be seriously taken into consideration is change in cultivation pattern and in line with it saffron can be cultivated in arid areas.

He said today the Afghans who have recently entered into the area of saffron cultivation have referred to the Dutch who have valuable expertise in the field of modification of different plant bulbs.

Within this framework, he added, bulbs have been created that can produce saffron four times more than normal bulbs and thus Iran which has a longstanding record in saffron production has been left behind.

Stressing that agriculture is the main axis for economic development Shafeie said the same level of importance should be attached to this sector.



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