A Proposition to Establish an Organization for the Support of Saffron and Medicinal Plants Production and Processing
After a proposition to the parliament (Islamic Consultative Assembly) by the people’s representative of Torbat-e Heydarieh, Mah Velat and Zaveh counties, and a petition, signed by a group of members of the Parliament, a request was made to the Minister of Agriculture Jihad to form an organization to support the production and processing of saffron and medicinal plants.
In reference to the insistence on supporting domestic production especially in agriculture, in his interview with IRNA, the spokesperson to the Iranian Parliament Committee on Industries and Mines said, “Considering the fact that saffron is among medicinal plants and a product which helps the agricultural economy through exports, a need is felt to support the production of saffron especially in provinces such as Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan and South Khorasan.”
people’s representative of Torbat-e Heydarieh, Mah Velat and Zaveh counties in the Parliament, Dr. Saeed Bastani stated that endeavors are made to convince the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad and Management and Planning Organization of Iran that each region has a strategic product and the government is to support those active in this field, through the government budget by purchasing the products. He went on to say, “Aligned with the follow ups and referring to the latest meetings and negotiations with Mahmoud Hojjati, in a letter to the minister of Agriculture Jihad, signed by a group of members of parliament, it is requested to take the necessary actions to form an organization or a support fund to aid the production and processing of saffron and medicinal plants in order to help the farmers.”
Of the 82 thousand hectares of lands under the cultivation of saffron in Khorasan Razavi, equal to 86 percent of lands under the cultivation of this product in the country and the world, 8500 hectares, 12 percent of the province, is allocated to the production of saffron in Torbat Heydarieh county, and 12000 hectares of Zaveh county, 17 percent of its cultivation capacity, is under the cultivation of this product.
In this province, 117 thousand families cultivate saffron, 14 to 15 thousand of which belong to Torbat Heydarieh county and 17 thousand people of Zaveh are among beneficiaries of the agricultural sector, 90 percent of which are in the business of growing saffron.
Currently, for each hectare of saffron land, 220 individuals work on a daily basis, 70 thousand people in general have direct employment and two to threefold this number, have indirect employment.
The average production of saffron in this province equals to four kilograms per hactare. In Torbat Heydarieh, it is between 3.8 to 4.1 kg per hactare, producing an annual of 32 tonnes of dry saffron.
The figures are roughly the same in Zaveh county, although in 2016, due to the decrease in precipitation and frost-bitten, saffron was harvested 30 percent less than the previous year, 28 tonnes in general. However, the average harvest in this county is an annual of 40 tonnes.