Iranian lawmaker, Farhad Falahati, has said processing saffron into value-added products is the missing link in raising the productivity of the red gold in Iran.
According to Farsi report by Health News Agency (TEBNA), he said in France saffron is being processed into herbal medicines and drugs, such as antidepressants, to create value-added products from the flower.
Commenting on the status quo of saffron production in Iran, Falahati said, “When we export the red gold to target markets without packaging and processing it in advance, obviously, the crop will be sent back to the country’s market in the form of value-added products, such as cosmetics. Such trade transactions are solely in the interest of the country that possesses developed processing industries.”
He added when it comes to processing saffron, Iranian producers have only spouted hollow slogans.
“We hold saffron festivals while such events fail to have any significant and favourable impact on developing the country’s saffron processing industries.”
No One to Blame
Falahati said no particular Iranian administration is to blame for the failure to approve a comprehensive national plan for processing saffron.
He regretted the fact that none of the Iranian governments have delivered a remarkable performance to this end.
“This comes as a fundamental transformation could be achieved in the field of cultivating saffron in Iran by approving such a plan.”
He stressed that Iran is required to replace traditional saffron production methods with modern ones to prevent the possibility of lagging behind a country such as Afghanistan, which has begun making investments in the field of cultivating the crop using scientific methods, in exporting the product to international markets in the future.
Iran has failed to register the brand of its saffron globally, the MP said, adding two main priorities in preserving and protecting Iran’s saffron are ensuring genetic protection for the bulbs of the saffron indigenous to the Islamic Republic and registering the brand of the Iranian saffron globally.
He noted that Afghanistan has managed to produce saffron bulbs in its greenhouses using modern irrigation systems and, thus, significantly increase the production level of the crop in the country.