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Iran's saffron seeks global recognitionThe laborers edge their way across a field of bright purple flowers gathering up the world's most expensive spice, a bounty that makes this dusty corner of Iran a crucial part of global cuisine. The government says more than 90 percent of the world's saffron grows from the hard soil in Khorasan province of northeastern Iran a figure corroborated by France's specialist institute of agriculture and fishing FranceAgriMer eventually finding its way into Spanish paellas, Indian curries, Swedish saffron buns and much more.Poor marketing means Iran has not always won the credit it deserves as the home of saffron, having mostly exported it wholesale to other countries that label it as their own.Drought migration Other issues are forcing innovation on the industry most pressingly, the devastating drought that has hit Iran's dry regions for the past two decades.At his factory, Shariati said the problem is easily solvable with better education and support for villagers, which could boost Iran's production from 400 to 1,000 tons per year.The biggest issue for farmers, he recognized, was navigating Iran's nightmarish banking sector, which is notoriously reluctant to lend to small businesses.
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