Saffron-Tech opens new growth center in Gaza envelope

The company is engaged in the development of a saffron cultivation protocol intended for the food industry, pharma and nutritional supplements. Production is set to begin soon.

 Saffron.  (photo credit: SAFFRON-TECH)
Saffron.
(photo credit: SAFFRON-TECH)

Israeli agritech company, Saffron-Tech, has opened a first-of-its-kind research and development center in Moshav Mavki’im, located within the Gaza envelope.

The company is engaged in the development of a saffron cultivation protocol intended for the food industry, pharma and nutritional supplements, and will soon begin producing saffron spice at non-commercial levels in this new facility.

In its first phase, the center’s goal is to finalize and improve Saffron-Tech’s cultivation protocol, which enables the mechanized cultivation of saffron using precise agriculture in indoor laboratory conditions and ensures a large and high-quality supply of saffron throughout the year, along with significant savings in natural resources and manpower.

In 2023 the company is expected to set up its first commercial plant and start producing several hundred kilograms of saffron a year.

The cost of establishing the company’s new research and development center is estimated to be NIS 1.5 million.

 Saffron growing in Saffron-Tech's growth center. (credit: SAFFRON-TECH) Saffron growing in Saffron-Tech's growth center. (credit: SAFFRON-TECH)

The company is expected to recruit several new employees from the area, including technology and research personnel.  

Saffron is known throughout the world for its strong color and scent profile, which has graced the culinary industry for thousands of years, though it has also made a name for itself in the alternative medicine field. In recent years, some scientific studies have shown that, at least in short-term therapy, the properties of saffron can relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and ADHD.

As of late, the global saffron market has seen an increasing number of players looking to get involved in developing nutritional supplements and cosmetics that take advantage of the herb’s properties. While interest in the product is on the rise, the cultivation of saffron itself is lagging behind; something that Saffron-Tech intends to solve with its newest growth center.

“To see the flowers of the cultivated crocus bloom in April in the land of Israel, when their flowering date in nature is in September, is nothing short of exciting,” said Tal Wilk Glazer, CEO of Saffron-Tech. “Picking and producing saffron this season at the research and development center, and seeing how the cultivation protocol, which we have developed over many months of strenuous work, takes shape and goes into action, constitutes proof of the significant ability of the company and its capabilities.”