Saffron, or the so-called "red gold" and the "flower of happiness", has many uses in our life. It is considered one of the oldest and most expensive spices in the world, as it is sold in grams as gold, and its production requires effort and patience throughout the year. In order to get one gram of dried saffron, this requires about 150 flowers to be harvested and extracted from them, but this difficulty carries behind it the many benefits of saffron. In a qualitative experience in Qatar, businessman Jaber Al-Mansouri proved that cultivating saffron - which is the most expensive spice in the world - can challenge the harsh climate, and establish itself within the modern plantations that invaded the desert environment in Qatar, and achieve production that covers an important space in local consumption, with The possibility of exporting in the future, according to Al-Jazeera Net. On his farm in Umm Al-Ashoush in the North region, businessman Jaber Al-Mansouri shows his happiness at inaugurating the first cut of red gold in Qatar, after 3 years he spent between studies and experiments, in an attempt to find the best and most effective saffron cultivation methods and ability to cope with the heat of the weather. Innovative agriculture, the latest watering technology and cooling conditions. Al-Mansouri relies in his experience cultivating saffron in two ways, the first is known as the hydroponic method, as the saffron bulbs that carry the flower directly onto the water grow without soil, and then the bulbs that carry the flower are kept in wooden boxes in a container that is re-routed and cooled by a conditioning system . And the second is by planting the bulbs in the soil, while providing water distillation techniques to keep them from drying out, and both methods require covered greenhouses that provide suitable cooling conditions.
The first cut and after the first harvest of this purple flower at the Mansouri farm, today he was able to determine the most efficient and the most productive and cost-effective method, the least consuming energy throughout the days of cultivation, and the least needing conditions for cooling and water evaporation. The quality was estimated at 3 kilograms, after the bulbs were planted in 5 layers in a refrigerated container with an area of 150 square meters, while the cultivation in the soil achieved less production, with what it required of greater cultivation conditions.
He told Al-Jazeera Net that the project experience he went through had already succeeded, and it is a pure Qatari achievement, and it is an experience that stimulates the owners of ideas to pay attention to the agricultural field to adopt this type of projects that enhance the production pillar and support the markets with distinctive Qatari products. He added that the Coronavirus pandemic inspired him to make this dream a reality by devoting more time to it, as Al-Mansouri found more time to find out about the growth processes of the saffron flower, and what it requires of great care and effort, indicating that he received offers from foreign companies requesting to import the crop from this product. Qatar's annual consumption of saffron is about 700 kilograms, and this figure is moving in an upward trend in view of the intensification of saffron use in a number of new products, whether food or medicinal. With the success of Al-Mansouri's experience, the success of betting on the role of the local product and the need to encourage it appears, in recent years, and in its direction towards achieving a large share of self-sufficiency in a number of products, the government of Qatar has provided more support for the owners of ideas produced in the agricultural field, by providing them with the necessary expertise and modern technologies. As well as granting project owners the required spaces for agricultural projects, and supporting them with fertilizers and medicines, which reflected positively on the contributions of the local product in strengthening the internal market and supporting the economy. Al-Mansouri does not hide his desire to break into other industries with saffron at its core, especially in the medical and cosmetic fields, but he is betting on supporting the competent authorities in Qatar and allocating support for companies that will go to this field, and accompanying them from the legal and marketing aspects, in a way that serves Qatar's vision National 2030 and its bets that support the Qatari economy locally and internationally.
Source:Al Sharq Newspaper