Growing saffron is an intensive and laborious process, requiring lots of manual operation. Additionally, temperatures below 55oC are required for drying the stigmas and maintaining quality. Additionally, quality can be compromised if the basal part of the stigmas is not kept intact. Moreover, a lack of adequate storage per scientific norms leads to further adulteration of the crop.
Due to its economic importance for several world economies, improving the production, yield, and quality of saffron is a key concern for agricultural scientists.
A study published in the journal Sustainability has investigated methods of improving saffron production using hydroponics. The authors of the study have stated that its major contributions are a detailed summary of production and the reasons for declining yields, a comparative analysis of different hydroponic techniques, an analysis of different artificial approaches for saffron cultivation, and the proposal of a smart hydroponic system utilizing IoT technologies and its future scope.
Additionally, the study has provided a systematic literature review of current research. The authors have considered peer-reviewed research articles indexed in the ISI and Web of Science proceedings. 100 papers that met the study’s criteria for quality were chosen.
Issues that influence the decline in global saffron production were identified and compared statistically. These were the non-availability of decent quality saffron corns, nutrient-deficient soil, uneven rainfall distribution, a lack of efficient post-harvesting practices, and efficient pest and weed management practices. Amongst agronomic variables, the study additionally identified temperature as being the parameter that is used most to increase saffron yield.
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