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Saffron, Greece's 'red gold,' fuels trade in wilted economy

Greeks were cultivating saffron for 3 centuries within the geographical region surrounding Krokos, which takes its identify from Crocus, the saffron flower. Alexander the Nice is alleged to have used it to heal fight wounds.

However till 2000, manufacturing used to be restricted to 30 kg a yr for home intake, mentioned Nikos Patsiouras, who heads Greece’s Cooperative of Saffron.

That modified in 2008, when the disaster hit. Greece now produces about 4 tonnes a yr, 70 p.c of which works out of the country. The Cooperative has doubled its individuals from 494 to at least one,000. It additionally has greater its land from 592 acres in 2008 to at least one,349 acres.

“A large number of younger folks discovered paintings within the fields — scientists,” Patsiouras mentioned. “I imagine extra will sign up for.”

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