Israeli agritech startup Saffron Tech, announced last Wednesday it has established a NIS 1.5 million ($440,000) R&D center in Moshav Mavki’im, a community in the Gaza Envelope to cultivate saffron spice at non-commercial levels.
The center will vertically grow and cultivate Saffron in controlled indoor conditions for the purpose of improving and finalizing the company’s cultivation protocol within the first phase of development. Meanwhile, Saffron Tech aims to recruit several new employees from the area, including those whose expertise lies in technology and research.
Despite the spice’s culinary appeal, wide range of medicinal properties, and its growing global market, saffron is typically only harvested in Iran, Afghanistan, and Spain.
Founded in 2020, Saffron Tech’s unique technology enables the mechanized cultivation of saffron using precise agriculture in indoor laboratory conditions. This enables large and high-quality supplies of saffron throughout the year rather than relying on seasonal wait times, prompting savings in natural resources and manual labor.
“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, it 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.”
By 2023, the company is expected to open its first commercial plant and begin yielding several hundred kilograms of saffron on a yearly basis for nutritional supplements as well as the food and pharmaceutical industries.