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Mellow yellow

This stunning portfolio of photographs portrays southern Morocco’s saffron industry. Words and photographs by Chris Griffiths

Morocco is the fourth largest producer of the world’s most expensive ingredient: saffron. The spice is farmed in the Ourika Valley and a few other regions, but more than 90 per cent of its cultivation is in the region around Taliouine. This small town — with a population of just under 6000 — is located in the heart of the Sirwa, a mountain range south of Marrakech known for its dramatic changes in weather conditions. Its high altitude, distinct seasonal patterns and mineral-rich earth allow local farmers to cultivate this prosperous crop during a short period each year.

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