Israeli agritech unveils “indoor growing” plans to challenge Iran’s global saffron dominance

Israeli agritech unveils “indoor growing” plans to challenge Iran’s global saffron dominance
Harvesting on Torbat-e Heydarieh saffron farm in Iran's northeastern Razavi Khorasan province.
By bne IntelIiNews February 9, 2021

Saffron Tech, an Israeli wholly owned agritech subsidiary of Seedo Corp, has announced that it plans to develop a new technology to challenge the global Iranian monopoly on saffron supply, which it says has been in place for 1,000 years and presently meets 90-95% of world demand.

The technology, it said, would provide for automated, year-round high-yield growing of high-quality saffron indoors.

Iran is the dominant player in meeting world demand for saffron because it has natural conditions fit for the growing and production of saffron with traditional, labour-intensive methods, Saffron Tech noted.

"Saffron is used in many industries, such as the food industry, particularly by famous chefs and Michelin starred restaurants, the natural cosmetics industry and the natural medicine industry and as a dye in the textile industry," said David Friedenberg, Saffron Tech CEO, in a press release.

He added: "It is considered the 'Red Gold', worth its weight in gold. We are about to revolutionize the way saffron is grown, growing it all year round and anywhere with our indoors growing technology."

Promoting its project to develop the “technology that hopes to provide turnkey automated growing solutions”, the company added that it has reached the “advanced stages of developing and testing its automated vertical farm for saffron growing, based on the company’s knowledge in plant biology and providing optimal conditions for each stage of the plant’s development to reach optimal product quality”.

Saffron Tech added that its solution would be a perfect fit for the "Grow Next to Consumer" model and sustainable and fit for COVID-19 restrictions on transport.

The company added: “It is environmentally friendly, using economic levels of water, space, fertilizer, and energy. We believe that our controlled indoor growing technology could produce 10 times more yield compared to the same land area using traditional methods. The sealed environment eliminates the need for harmful pesticides and herbicides, producing a clean and safe product. The solution is easily scalable and pre-designed to quickly grow operations.”

Saffron Tech also focuses on cultivating exotic plants and mushrooms.

Seedo said its knowhow takes into account the world’s “diminishing water resources and unstable weather conditions”.