0654 GMT May 23, 2019
"About 34 percent of the saffron cultivated in Iran are labeled and sold by other countries," said the deputy head of the National Council of Saffron.
"The remaining six percent of saffron production take place in Greece, Afghanistan, India and Spain," reported Mehr News Agency quoting Gholamreza Miri.
The official further said that the domestic market for saffron is worth more than $646.6 million at market exchange rate.
Recently, Iran's National Saffron Council voiced concern about the unrestrained smuggling of Iranian saffron bulbs to Afghanistan and China.
"We need to block the illegal outflow of saffron bulbs and support domestic production and exports," said the head of the council, Gholamhossein Shafei, who is also the president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
At present, he noted, the global market for saffron is controlled by Europeans.
Iran exported more than 66 tons of saffron worth $96.7 million during the seven months to October 21, recording a growth of 15 percent and 14 percent in weight and value respectively against the figures for the same period last year.
In the last Iranian year (March 2015-16), over 350 tons of saffron were produced in the country, indicating a rise of 25 percent compared to the figure for the previous year. Of this figure about 130 tons were exported.