Saffron plantation expected to augment agritourism in Zanjan

December 15, 2020

TEHRAN – Saffron farming has been amplified in the tourist areas of the northwestern Zanjan province to develop agritourism in the region.

Saffron production and harvest, which started about three years ago across the west-central province, shows a significant boom this year, provincial tourism chief Amir Arjmand said on Monday.

So far saffron bulbs have been harvested from over 62 hectares of farms mostly near historical cities of the province such as Abhar, Soltanieh, Khorramdareh, and Zanjan, the official added.

Saffron farming could have a great impact on attracting tourists and generate income for the local people and farmers, he said.

Iranian saffron is known as the “red gold”. Saffron is a magical ingredient in Persian culture, from aromatic foods and colorful desserts to physical and spiritual medicine. Every year, the saffron harvest season begins in early November. While most other vegetation is gone, the bright purple flowers cover the fields and create an outstanding landscape in dry regions in Iran.

Major saffron producers of Iran are located on the east side of the country. If you would like to see the biggest market, head to Mashhad, which is also known for its religious importance.

Agritourism and nature-tourism enterprises might also include outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife study, horseback riding), educational experiences (cannery tours, cooking classes, or tea or coffee tasting), entertainment (harvest festivals or barn dances), hospitality services (farm stays, guided tours, or outfitter services), and on-farm direct sales (u-pick operations or roadside stands).

Today, agritourism is regarded as a stimulus to the imbalanced economy of agriculture sectors and the tendency for emotional and nostalgic roots of the modern world citizens and due to factors such as visitor participation in farm activities, direct purchase of products, spending a night at a farm, curiosity and learning about the farm and agriculture products has been able to create a wide target population.

Zanjan is one of the cities founded by Sassanid King Ardashir I (180-242 CE). The province makes a base for wider explorations with the architectural wonder of Soltaniyeh, the subterranean delights of the Katale-Khor caves, colorful mountains, and the UNESCO-registered Takht-e Soleiman ruins are nearby.

In late January, Zanjan was designated as a “world city of filigree” by the World Crafts Council after the WCC assessors visited various craft workshops, stores, exhibits, and bazaars of a city in a two-day itinerary last December.

Filigree consists of curling, twisting, or plaiting fine, pliable metal threads and soldering them at their points of contact with each other with a metal groundwork.


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