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Monday, August 18, 2008

Free multimillion dollar business idea for anyone interested

I grew up on a farm but I really don’t have a green thumb and I am not educated at all in the trade. However, I do know a bit about economics and supply and demand, and it seems the US should be trying to produce a bit more saffron. I just read an article that the spice saffron is one of the most expensive “foods” in the world. The spice costs over a thousand dollars a pound to purchase. The threads are the stigmas of crocus plants, primarily grown in India, Iran, Spain, and Greece. Each crocus has only three stigmas, so many blossoms are needed to produce even a small amount of spice. One acre of land produces one pound of spice, approximately, yielding roughly $1000/acre.

I just did a google search and found the average price of corn is $2.28/bushel, and the average Iowa farm gets about 180 bushels/acre. That equates to roughly $410/acre. The difference in price per acre between those producing saffron vs. corn is $590, more than double. Now I know certain products grow better in certain climates and farmland. However, given the high price people are paying for this spice and with today’s technology and irrigation, shouldn’t it be possible to plant saffron at least somewhere in the US effectively using machines instead of handpicking? I had this same question before regarding the truffle industry, and lo and behold there is someone trying to plant truffles. I would like to see a similar project in the US for saffron. And, I bet people would be willing to spend more on US versions of saffron over Iran’s stuff, for political reasons. If anyone knows about someone who successfully plants saffron in the US, please let me know and I will do a write up on this.


t said...

I read a great article about this in Saveur Magazine a few years ago. I really think you would LOVE that magazine. Anyway, I think this is a tough thing to grow and there are very few regions that can succeed for some reason. This stuff sounds more profitable than growing pot.

TAM said...

I have looked into something similar with castor beans for oil. Very interesting idea, but I don't have the farming bone in me like my grandpa does (farms 300 acres in Michigan)

Mommy Meryl said...

I love Saffron! No clue about planting it - but its a wonderful spice. . .that is the most I can offer you! :-)