Nowadays, saffron is grown in more than a dozen nations, including Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, China, India, Australia.
Scientists of the Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan conducted research on the feasibility of cultivation of this plant in our country. The results showed that the saffron fully corresponds to soil and climatic conditions of the republic, can be grown in the mountain and foothill areas of the Fergana Valley, Tashkent, Samarkand, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Navoi and Jizzakh regions, and in inter-rows in vineyards and gardens.
In complementary medicine, saffron has long been used for treatment of many diseases. Abu Ali ibn Sino wrote that saffron tincture improves eye vision, the work of the heart and respiratory system.
Today, saffron is widely used in medicine and food industry. The stigma of saffron contains more than 50% of the coloring matter, 2.7% of fats, 0.32% of essential oils, vitamins B, B2, nitrogenous substances, sugar, potassium and calcium compounds. Owing to aroma, bright color and taste, saffron is also used as a spice in meals, confectionery products, creams, ice cream. Foods with saffron additions remain fresh longer.
2017 will mark laying of saffron plantations on four hectares in the Yakkabag and Kitab districts in the Kashkadarya region, and on three hectares in the Shahrisabz district. The cultivation of saffron will allow expanding the procurement of the valuable raw material in local conditions, using it in the pharmaceutical industry, and exporting it as food spices.
In the course of scientific research, domestic scientists revealed that climatic conditions of the country allow growing such valuable medicinal plants as Alexandria leaf, valerian medicinal, madder dye, lavender medicinal, erva, rosemary officinalis, and others. The proposals on the establishment of pilot plantations of these plants have already been submitted. They are capable of replacing imports, and are demanded on the external market. The project would trigger the creation of a separate industry in agriculture specializing in the procurement of saffron and other medicinal plants, and thereby the provision of pharmaceutical, perfumery and food industries with domestic raw materials.