每日跟讀#730: Laborious saffron harvest unites poor Moroccan village
A 10-year-old boy calls for the dawn prayer in an isolated village in Morocco’s Atlas mountains, announcing a laborious day racing against the clock to harvest fields that produce the most expensive spice on earth: saffron.
It’s mainly older women who respond to his call, making their way out of Askaoun village before the sun rises and into fields of purple saffron flowers whose crimson stigmas will become aromatic orange saffron sold around the world. Though the women’s bent backs ache and their hands are blistered by the morning cold, they sing and chat as they pick the flower.
Morocco is among the world’s top five saffron producers. The saffron plants bloom for only two weeks a year and the flowers, each containing three crimson stigmas, become useless if they blossom.
Every step is done by hand, and if stigmas aren’t picked out and dried within a few hours of harvesting, their quality drops drastically. Few crops can thrive in the arid soil of the lower Atlas range, so the village depends solely on saffron to survive.
The harvesters see only a fraction of the money consumers spend for the spice, however.
“The women are simply not aware of the real value of saffron,” says Rachida Baha, president of Tamghart Al Filahya cooperative, which focuses on helping women saffron farmers. “For years, the women worked for free. Many still do.”
致力於協助女性番紅花農的Tamghart Al Filahya合作社主席 Rachida Baha指出：「這些女性單純沒有意識到番紅花的真正價值。」「多年來，這些女性無償工作，很多人到現在還是如此。」
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/11/16/2003725906