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 \u2014 scientists," Patsiouras mentioned. "I imagine extra will sign up for."Indicators of the disaster are visual throughout Krokos, the place shuttered stores line the streets. Unemployment in northwestern Greece is 23.five p.c, 3 issues upper than the nationwide reasonable. However the fields are abuzz."Now we have God on our facet, who gave us this type of distinctive product," Patsiouras mentioned. "We hang directly to it just like the apple of our eye."Saffron grows simplest on this area of Greece. Advertised as Krokos Kozanis, one gram prices about 4 euros in Greek stores.It takes 150,000 vegetation to make a kilo of the spice, which sells for approximately 1,500 euros. Flora are handpicked, and on the cooperative girls in blue general weigh and package deal it. They're forbidden to put on makeup and fragrance, to give protection to its flavour.Iran is by means of some distance the sector's largest saffron manufacturer, however call for for the Greek selection is emerging, Patsiouras mentioned. Greece is in talks with China for exports in 2019.Within the Patsiouras family, 3 generations have accumulated after an afternoon of harvesting to take away the saffron strands from the vegetation and dry them."If we do not switch this custom to the following era, we will be able to fail," mentioned his daughter-in-law, Maria Patsioura.