0110 GMT May 24, 2019
The bank has been set up in the northeastern city of Torbat Heydariyeh, which is in the heartland of the country’s saffron industry, Press TV reported.
The storage capacity of the facility is 10 tons, Gholamreza Karimi, the governor of the bank was quoted by the media as saying. Nevertheless, Karimi added, this can be increased to as high as 20 tons in the future.
The official added that farmers can deposit their saffron in the bank, adding that the herb would be kept under special temperature control.
He said the farmers would receive “bond-like certificates,” which would specify the technical specifications of the saffron they have deposited.
“The certificates can be sold to other parties and whenever farmers [or other owners] request to withdraw saffron from the bank, they will be provided with amounts equal in value to the original amount.”
Karimi further told IRNA that due to security reasons, the address of the bank is not publicized.
Iran is the world’s largest producer and exporter of the ingredient used to flavor food and pastries, with further application in medicine and cosmetics.
First harvest of the reddish, aromatic plant dates back to 3,000 years ago in Iran.
With a monopoly in producing over 90 percent of the world’s saffron, Iran exports to more than 50 countries across the world, where demand for the pricey spice is always high because of its premium quality.
The flowers must be picked early in the morning before the scent is lost to the heat of the day and then dried.
Each kilogram of Iranian saffron retails for $2,000 in global markets; its comparison with gold is not without reason. It can cost more than the precious metal, with each gram of the premium Iranian crop able to fetch $65.