Here is the map of South Asia in which the saffron represents over 85% of growth in the last 20 years. India alone, growing around 4% per year in this period, represented the fourth largest volume of global production in the entire year from 2000 to 2016. The map is broken down into six major growth zones, each representing two or more saffron-growing countries.
The first zone is India, which grew a staggering 24% over the 20 years, the second zone is Pakistan, followed by Sri Lanka (14.4%), Bangladesh (11.4%), China (9.3%), and Pakistan (6.4%) .
There is a huge difference in production between India and Pakistan — Pakistan produced almost 2.5 million metric metric tonnes (MMMT; or million tonnes) more in this past 10 years than India. (The rest would have been in the production zones in between, with Pakistan at 5.4 million and India at 1.7 million in this period). And this is a region I have studied extensively — I recently authored a book on Pakistan’s growth, and also published a companion essay, “Pakistan, a land of promise”. The region is not merely a source of potential energy for the region’s energy-hungry economy — it is an epicenter of development, and in fact the country will soon overtake India as the second largest industrial nation in the world.
India’s per capita income, after adjusting for inflation, is higher, but the real growth rate seems to be significantly higher as well. In 2012, India’s GDP per capita was $2,400 — a mere 7% of what it has been in recent decades, and 7% lower than the rate for South Asia in general. And that is why it has such a large, rapid growth rate, while growing at a faster growth rate than many countries. And this year just came out, there were 2.2 million new businesses formed in the last two years in India, compared with only 750 in the United States. India’s GDP per person, at $38,500, is actually below that of the United States $50,000 — or $38,500/person in 2012. While South Asians may claim that there is a certain “Indianness” in their country’s growth and its GDP, the reality — and one of the reasons for its large growth rate — is that it is a growth nation.
The third zone covers the rest of South Asia. It is the
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