Almost all saffron grows in a belt bounded by the Mediterranean in the west and mountainous Kashmir in the east. All other continents except Antarctica produce smaller amounts. In 1991, Some 300 t (300,000 kg) of whole threads and powder are gleaned yearly, of which 50 t (50,000 kg) is top-grade “coupe” saffron.

Iran is by far the world’s most important producer: in 2005 it grossed some 230 tonnes (230,000 kg) of dry threads, or 93.7 percent of the year’s global total mass; much of the Iranian crop was bound for export. Northeasterly Khorasan Province, which in 2004 was divided in three, grows 95 percent of Iranian saffron: the hinterlands of Birjand, Ghayen, Ferdows in South Khorasan Province, along with areas abutting Gonabad and Torbat-e Heydarieh in Razavi Khorasan Province, are its key cropping areas. .

In 2004, second-ranked Greece produced 5.7 t (5,700.0 kg). Morocco and the disputed[N 2] region of Kashmir, tied as the next-highest producers, each produced 2.3 t (2,300.0 kg). In decreasing order, Iran, Greece, Morocco, the Kashmir region in India, Azerbaijan, Spain, and Italy dominate the world harvest.

Afghanistan has resumed cultivation in recent years; in restive Kashmir it has waned.[14] Despite numerous cultivation efforts in such countries as Austria, England, Germany, and Switzerland, only select locales continue the harvest in northern and central Europe. Among these is the small Swiss village of Mund, in the Valais canton, whose annual saffron output amounts to several kilograms. Microscale cultivation occurs in Tasmania,[15] China, Egypt, France, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey (especially Safranbolu), California, and Central Africa.

According to figures of 2014, India produced per annum about 15,000 kilograms.

A protective geographical status, via the European Union, exists for growing, in the regions of, La Mancha, Spain, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, and around abouts Kozani, western Macedonia, Greece. The Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir have the All J&K Saffron Growers & Dealers Association which is run in order to promote fair trade and the rights of saffron farmers, and to promote trade of the spice.