ORGANIC SAFFRON IN IRAN: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES
Saffron is an economic crop of low input agricultural systems of South Khorasan in Iran. In terms of economic productivity this crop is one of the most efficient water saving crops in the world. Basically, evolution of farming practices for saffron has been based on an Organic system of production. Saffron growers in most parts of Iran have so far used no agrochemical input for production and most of the inputs used were internal. Agronomic practices such as application of organic fertilizers, non-chemical methods for pests and weed control, complete family labor work for production and processing, share-cropping and socio-cultural environment surrounding the whole process of saffron is in compliance with organic farming principles. In other words, Iranian saffron is mostly based on an organic production, but this system of production is in fact organic by neglect and is not recognized by the present system of international certification, therefore, an Internal Control System (ICS), which was proposed by IFOAM for the first time in 1996, is appropriate for organic saffron in Iran. This type of control which is based on group certification is cost effective and has been suggested for small producers. In this method, smallholders are organized into a single group with an internal support structure and a de facto inspection system.
Ghorbani, R. and Koocheki, A. (2007). ORGANIC SAFFRON IN IRAN: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES. Acta Hortic. 739, 369-374
Crocus sativus, ecological farming, IFOAM, organic agriculture, organic fertilizers