Saffrosystems

This interview details Saffrosystems, an agricultural technology company based in the United States. The interview is with Khalil Z. Mirza - CEO & Co-Founder of Saffrosystems.

Source: Saffrosystems

What is the origin story of Saffrosystems?

Saffrosystems was spun out of an undergraduate internship that I had the honor of partaking in the last summer and year of my environmental policy program in Vermont. This was the first laboratory in the United States to study saffron formally. In being mentored by Dr. Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani, a post-doc agronomist at the time, I learned about the myriad low-input, shoulder, cash-crop opportunities that saffron (Crocus sativus) could offer the world of agriculture. 

These unique facets of the world’s most expensive spice impassioned me to empower and inspire farmers to sustainably produce saffron for a growing world population in an ever-changing climate. Now, Saffrosystems has a moonshot to obsolete the adulteration of this spice, since saffron has been subject to the most fraud relative to any other spice or herb.

Source: Saffrosystems


What are some of the biggest challenges facing Saffrosystems in the future?

Some of the biggest challenges facing Saffrosystems is to help educate the public about the degree of saffron fraud in local to global markets — currently, saffron is adulterated at a minimum conservative estimate of 33% in global markets, with some areas reaching as high as 90% according to peer-reviewed studies.

Another challenge is to educate policy makers and government agencies about the importance of developing regulations that use the most cost-effective technologies available on the market to identify and weed out fraudulent saffron actors. Lastly, the challenge of diversifying the monoculture systems that are the achilles heel of modern US agriculture is no easy feat, but, nonetheless, an imperative one in the face of a changing climate.

Source: Saffrosystems


What is the current size of your growing area?

We do not produce saffron. My company decided to steer away from producing saffron early on, as to remain independent and non-biased in our moonshot to help obsolete the adulteration of saffron.

Source: Saffrosystems


Do you use CO2 in your operation today -- if so, how much and what do you pay for it? What are your thoughts in CO2 usage in indoor farms?

We do not use CO2 in our company operations. While this facet of indoor farming is not my area of expertise, one can only logically postulate that hormesis will make or break this practice. Hormesis is a dose-dependent response that can lead to favorable, natural, or toxic outcomes for the organism. So, too much CO2, as we see with various climate change models, will suffocate and hinder plant growth. However, there is likely a Goldilocks zone for optimal CO2 usage for indoor farming that differs from plant to plant.

Source: Saffrosystems


How can people connect with you or learn more about Saffrosystems?

People can access our website here, and follow Saffrosystems on Facebook, Instagram Twitter, or LinkedIn. For any growers who would like to learn and network with other like-minded producers, we run a donations-based online community for farmers.

We have ample resources available on this platform to help grow and enhance your saffron operations no matter the stage of your business or hobby. We have saffron farmers and enthusiasts from all over the world so it is a highly inclusive and diverse group of experts that support each other in their saffron pursuits.

Source: Saffrosystems

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