Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Qanat-based Saffron Farming System in Gonabad, Iran

GIAHS since 2018
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The Saffron Farming System is located in Iran's central plateau that has an arid and semi-arid climate. Severe water shortages in the area pose major threats to food security and livelihoods of local communities.

However, proper use of water resources supplied by the Qanat (or aquaduct) irrigation system and production of high value added products, especially saffron, have created a unique opportunity for farmers and residents of the region to improve their livelihoods.

Saffron does not require large quantities of water compared to cereals, which has resulted in allocation of more areas for the cultivation of this invaluable crop making it a major source of income for many farmer households. Today it plays a key role in creating job opportunities, reducing migration, providing sustainable livelihoods, improving efficiency in water use and productivity as well as developing eco-tourism in the area.

News

Sites in Iran, Morocco and Spain recognized as important for the world’s agricultural heritage

A traditional saffron cultivation system in Iran, an argan-based agro-pastoral system in Morocco, and an ancient olive trees system in Spain today won recognition from FAO as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).

Flickr Album

IRAN- Qanat-based Saffron Farming System in Gonabad