Iran is the biggest worldwide producer of saffron in terms of volume and quality.
In general, since the cultivation of saffron requires strong sunshine and warm climate with clayey or sandy land, the eastern parts of Iran has an especially suitable environment for its cultivation. The main saffron cultivation areas in Iran are in the eastern and north- eastern of the country. The khorasan province regions have managed to achieve an excellent position on the production and export of saffron over the years; to the extent that some 90% of saffron production in Iran is obtained from there (It produced over 119 tons in the past year and is predicted to produce 130 tons in the current year). Ghaenat region in this province is well known for its quality saffron. Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan provinces account for 86% and 14% of total Khorasan’s saffron production respectively. Yazd province has reached the second position in saffron production (It produces 2800 Kg per year).There is 600 hectares land under cultivation in this province, mainly around Tabas , Behabad , Mehriz ,Yazd and Ardakan,80% of its saffron production is exported due to its high quality. There are other regions in Iran with a history of cultivation but their productions have been mainly for domestic consumption with minor role in the country’s export. The provinces if Isfahan, Fars, Kerman and North Khorasan have reached the next positions in saffron production. It is predicted that about 200 tons of saffron be produced from 60000 hectares in the current year. Iran is the first saffron producer in the world and meets 90% of the world’s saffron needs. Spain is the second saffron producer and India, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, China, France, Italy, Germany, Australia and Greece have not even reached the third position together. All world countries (except for Iran) produced only 18 tons of saffron in 2007. Iran exported about 38% of saffron to UAE, 32% to Spain, 7% to Saudi Arabia, 4% to Italy and 3% to Sweden. Spain is the second saffron producer and imports about 50% of its saffron from Iran and selling Iranian saffron under its own trademark. Spain produces only one ton of Saffron a year. Iran saffron exports exceeded $75 million in value (141 tons) from March 2006 to March 2007, registering a 21.7% growth compared to figure for the previous year. The figure is predicted to soar to 200 tons in the current Iranian year 1386( March 2007- March 2008).