0640 GMT February 25, 2020
Farshid Manouchehri also told Iran Daily that Iran is the biggest producer and exporter of saffron in the world.
“Iran produced about 240 tons of saffron in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2014),” he said
Noting that 95 percent of saffron are grown in Iran, the official predicted that the production of red gold will reach 280 tons by March 2015, marking a 17-percent increase year-on-year.
"Global consumption of saffron stands at 300 tons, most of which is supplied by Iran," he said.
Manouchehri said Iran earned $200 million by exporting 137 tons of saffron in the last Iranian year.
The official noted that Spain, Greece, Italy and the UAE are among top importers of Iranian saffron, adding that these countries reexport it after packaging them.
“Countries such as Spain are gaining from processing and packaging saffron,” he said.
He noted that Spain, Greece, India and Afghanistan are rivals of Iran in the global market, while their outputs are not comparable with those of Iran.
“More than 70 percent of Iran's saffron production are produced in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan,” he said.
Referring to Western sanctions imposed on Iran's banking system over its nuclear energy program, Manouchehri said these bans have no effect on the export of Iranian saffron because Iran is the biggest producer of the red gold.
Due to Iran’s diverse climate and fertile soil, the country’s agricultural products are rated among the best in the world, with its saffron ranking second to none.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus. Some 300 tons of dried whole threads and powder are gleaned yearly worldwide, of which 50 tons are top-grade saffron.