Two Lebanese engineers face the crisis by cultivating "red gold"

18 November, 2022
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Two Lebanese engineers face the crisis by cultivating "red gold"

Two Lebanese architects managed to grow and produce saffron, with the aim of facing the economic crisis, in a different way. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and is known as "red gold".

Despite the difficult economic and living conditions, red gold grows in Lebanon today, as saffron cultivation has become available on Lebanese agricultural land, after engineers Carl Karam and Jihad Farah tended to grow and produce it since the year two thousand and twenty.

In a field of only one hectare, adorned with purple saffron flowers, engineer Carl Karam talks about the beginnings, saying: “In the two thousand and twenty years, we decided, with all the crises happening in the country, to search for any work that would help us to survive in Lebanon, and the idea of ​​​​growing saffron that was generated by us began. In 2017, which turned from a dream into reality today. Saffron cultivation does not need a lot of water, but it requires great accuracy in the work, as the flowers are counted after picking them, then their stigmas are separated with great caution, and dried manually, while obtaining one hundred grams of saffron needs fifty thousand stigmas, knowing that each plant It contains only three stigmas.

Karam explains, "Historically, they used to say that saffron cultivation does not succeed in Lebanon. Simple research that we did with us is that no. We grow saffron of high quality, and this issue is proven in the laboratory, and this is the second year of production." 

How will saffron contribute to alleviating the crisis?

Engineers Karam and Farah believe that agriculture is the only solution that can help the Lebanese get out of the economic crisis, especially in the fertile Bekaa Valley.

According to Lebanese experts, saffron cultivation can contribute to the employment of five thousand families, with an economic return of tens of millions of dollars annually, if the necessary tools are provided.

The two red gold producers in Lebanon continue their work in architecture along with their work in saffron production, and they confirm that there is a great similarity between the two professions represented by the extreme precision during work, which made them attracted to the idea of ​​​​saffron cultivation.


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