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Identifying the Barriers to Iran’s Saffron Export

Iran has a special position in the cultivation of agricultural products due to its suitable climatic conditions. Among them, saffron has a special place, so that Iran is known as the largest producer of saffron in the world. Iran is the largest producer of saffron in the world and has about 90% of the production of this product. Statistics show that saffron cultivation has increased in the past years and the area under saffron cultivation has increased from 77 thousand hectares in 2011 to 105 thousand hectares last year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad report, Iran’s saffron production was 336 tons in 2021, of which 203 tons of saffron worth 286 million dollars was the share of Iran’s saffron exports. The amount of global saffron trade is estimated to be more than 8 billion dollars per year, of which Iran’s share is more than 44%. But our share of the market of this product is very small and we face challenges in the matter of exporting saffron products. Last year, the largest amount of saffron exports was allocated to the following countries:

Iran ($96.5 million)

Spain ($73.1 million)

Afghanistan ($16 million)

Portugal ($10.8 million)

France ($8.79 million)

The largest volume of Iran’s saffron exports is related to the following countries, according to Iran’s customs statistics:

  1. Spain
  2. Emirates
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Afghanistan
  5. China
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. India
  8. Sweden
  9. Italy
  10. Taiwan

One of the most important problems of saffron export is the sale and export of bulk that is exported from Iran to other countries without name and address and is sold under the brand and label of those countries. More than 80% of exported saffron is exported in bulk to UAE and Spain and is imported to other countries as Spanish saffron. There is very little place for the name of Iran and Iranian products in this industry, which is one of the biggest problems of saffron export. Paying attention to proper packaging and extensive marketing to change the current position can be an important step in reducing the problems of saffron export. Compared to last year, saffron export statistics have decreased by 19%. The reason for this decrease in export volume can be related to weak packaging, lack of proper marketing to create demand and banking sanctions against Iran. In addition, some countries have started producing saffron. Some of the most important problems of saffron export are:

  1. Cumbersome laws on the way to Iran’s saffron export
  2. Banking system weakness because of the sanction
  3. Weakness in saffron packaging
  4. Lack of proper marketing in target markets

The government should support the farmer in the form of buying saffron at an agreed price by export organizations to improve the export of saffron. It means that the government should determine the price of saffron and inform the farmers that if they don’t sell it in the market below this price. Also, price stability and market regulation, preventing price fluctuations and shortening the hands of dealers are other ways to develop saffron exports in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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