Saffron is one of the most appreciated spices and sought after throughout history. Castilla-La Mancha today focuses almost all of the Spanish production of this bulb, and thus this community is located in the World Saffron Bank, which meets all the genetic varieties of this crop throughout the world. Its objectives are to collect, preserve, conserve and use genetic resources to prevent their disappearance saffron and enhancing its quality.
The World Bank on Genetic Resources of Saffron and related species will be located at the Agricultural Research Center Albaladejito, near the city of Cuenca. Framed in the European project "Crocusbank" The European Commission is committed to investing in it just over two and a half million euros to universities and companies from six European countries-Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Hungary and Kingdom United and three from East-Turkey, Egypt and Azerbaijan to investigate on one of the most expensive spice in the world.
Scientists from these countries have agreed that this gene bank in Spain is of the importance since the cultivation of saffron in our country has suffered a significant crisis in recent years: last year we collected 800 pounds in 77 hectares, compared to 2800 collected in 2003 on 238 hectares.
"The World Bank seeks to preserve the loss of genetic diversity that saffron is suffering in the world except for countries like Iran or India," says Jose Antonio Fernandez, professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha which will coordinate the project.
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