Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the Crocus sativus plant. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world and is prized for its unique flavour and aroma. Saffron is used in various dishes, including rice dishes, curries, and desserts.
In South Africa, saffron is a relatively new crop, but it is gaining popularity among farmers and consumers alike. The country’s climate is well-suited for growing saffron, and South African saffron is of high quality.
How much will you get paid for 1 kg of saffron in South Africa?
Saffron is by far the world’s most expensive spice, so it is often referred to as “red gold”. Locally, it retails for as much as R250/g (or R250 000/kg). This lofty price tag can be attributed to labour-intensive harvesting methods, from picking the flowers to removing the threads, which is all done by hand, in addition to which about 150 000 flowers are needed to produce 1 kg of “red gold”.
According to Bennie Engelbrecht, the owner of Saffricon, they will pay local farmers up to R100 000/kg for top-grade saffron. “We want to establish and maintain a high-value product. Therefore, it is essential that farmers are adequately compensated for high-grade saffron,” he explains.
How to grow saffron for profit in South Africa
If you are interested in growing saffron for profit in South Africa, there are a few things you need to know. First, you need to choose a suitable location for your saffron crop. Saffron plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Second, you need to purchase saffron corms. These corms can be expensive, but they will produce saffron flowers for many years.
Once you have planted your saffron corms, you must water them regularly and fertilize them every few weeks. Saffron plants are relatively low-maintenance but need some care and attention.
The saffron flowers will bloom in the fall, and you will need to harvest them by hand. The stigma of the saffron flower is the part of the plant that is used to make saffron spice. Once you have harvested the stigmas, you need to dry them carefully.
Once the stigmas are dried, you can grind them into a powder. This is the saffron spice that is used in cooking.
Where to sell saffron in South Africa
There are a number of places where you can sell saffron in South Africa. You can sell it directly to consumers through farmers’ markets or online. You can also sell it to restaurants or other food businesses.
Another option is to sell your saffron to a wholesale buyer. Wholesale buyers typically pay less per kilogram than consumers but will buy larger quantities.
How to make a profit from growing saffron
To make a profit from growing saffron, you need to produce a high-quality product and sell it at a competitive price. You also need to manage your costs carefully.
The cost of producing saffron can vary depending on the size of your operation, the location of your farm, and the cost of labour. However, you can expect to spend around R100,000 per hectare on producing saffron.
This means that if you can produce 1 kg of saffron per hectare, you could earn a profit of R150,000. However, it is important to note that saffron yields can vary yearly, and you may not always be able to produce 1 kg of saffron per hectare.
Growing saffron for profit in South Africa can be a lucrative business. However, it is important to research and understand the costs involved before you start.