Written Paper

Research on production of Saffron in Iran: Past trend and future prospects  [2013]

Koocheki, Alireza

Access the full text

Saffron has strong ties with the economic, social, environmental and political aspects of agriculture in the country with particular impact on the local communities of the growing area. The role of Iranian farmers in domestication and cultural development of saffron has been clearly demonstrated in the international literature. However, the past scientific achievement of the Iranian scientists on the agronomic attributes of saffron seems to be insufficient with regards to the importance of this crop and the expectation of international scientific bodies. In this review an attempt has been made to look at the past agronomic research status and find a trend for the present and a prospect for the future. On this bases although the history of conventional research in Iran on saffron goes back to seven decades ago a dormant period of almost 40 years up to the 1960s is evidenced. Basically in the 60s the pioneer researchers from Khorasan founded the conventional research on basic agronomic aspects and in the later stages with establishment of organization such as Organization for Scientific and Industrial Research (Khorasan branch) and expansion of graduate studies in the universities, research activities was progressed. These activities gained a momentum in the last two decades particularly in recent years due to establishment of different public and private organizations associated with saffron such as National Saffron Council, permanent secretariat for saffro
n festival, organizing various seminars and conferences, establishment of research group for saffron in a University, establishment of saffron focal point for science and industry, establishment of saffron institute and publication of two specialized scientific Journal on saffron. Based on these achievements it is hoped to enhance the conventional research topics and shift them towards a holistic and comprehensive approaches for novel research on the subjects such as production under controlled environment, evaluation of yield gaps, growth and development modeling, crop physiology and ecology and impacts of climate change on saffron expansion area etc. This could be fulfilled by transferring the findings to the fields and presenting the results to the world scientific societies by publishing in international Journals.