Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Management, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Applied Mathematics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Among various products available in agriculture, saffron plays a major role in contributing to Iran's gross domestic product and per capita income growth. Due to shortage of workforce and short duration of harvesting, areas under cultivation of saffron in Iran will be declining in coming years. Thus, proper planning for optimum use of work force is one of the most important techniques to access efficient harvesting. In this regard, an integer programming model is proposed to solve the problem in this paper. Number of working shift and working hours in each shift were among decision variables in the proposed model, which satisfy the goal, i.e. minimizing the total cost of workforce, with constrains including number of working hours in each shift, speed of work, number of fields that should be harvested in each day and relationship between working hours of each worker and the cost allocated. To evaluate the proposed model, information was obtained about fields located in different areas of Qaen City, South Khorasan, Iran. By comparing the output of the proposed model to the real situation, the ability of the model was confirmed. Based on the results provided in this study, the amount of harvested saffron with minimum workforce increased. Finally, concluding remarks and suggestions for future research were provided.