Jordanian launches first Moabite saffron farm in Kingdom

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanian farmer Bisher Al-Thunaibat inaugurated the first farm in the Kingdom to cultivate Moabite saffron, which is threatened with extinction, Khaberni reported.اضافة اعلان

The farm was opened after four years of work.

Moabite saffron is an endangered wild saffron, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, and it grows only in Jordan and Palestine.

Thunaibat said that saffron is a low-risk crop and is not affected by frost or high temperatures. It can also live for a whole year without irrigation, surviving on very low rainfall and flourishing between -15°C and 45°C.

He added that it is one of the most expensive spices in the world.

The idea came to Thunaibat after observing Moabite saffron growing in the harsh environment of southern Jordan without any care. He learned more about it, hoping to improve its quality and production.

He added that he learned from mistakes at the beginning of the project before gaining enough experience to cultivate them correctly.

Thunaibat said that it takes 150,000 saffron flowers to harvest one kilogram of saffron and that stems must be separated from flowers by hand, without any mechanical aid.

Harvesting begins in October and runs to the end of December.

Thunaibat explained that saffron production increases by itself annually, as the bulbs inside the soil can multiply nearly sevenfold within four years. He can either sell the excess bulbs or use them to produce more saffron.

He added that the four main benefits of saffron are scientifically proven. The first is the treatment of inflammation, as saffron contains high levels of antioxidants. It can fight cancer cells, especially in cases of colon cancer and the digestive system.

Saffron is also an effective antidepressant and an aphrodisiac, he added.

Thunaibat advised consumers not to buy cheap types of saffron, as “cheap saffron” does not exist, and the purchase should be done through trusted sources only.

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