Pampore, Sept 17:- Member Parliament (MP), Gh. Nabi Ratanpuri has said that it is the need of hour to initiate steps for protection of heritage saffron besides increasing productivity and improving its quality. This he said while visiting saffron fields of Lethpora,Chandhara and Konibal to review the implementation of National Mission on Saffron.
While interacting with saffron growers, he asked them to avail the benefits of National Mission on Saffron for improving their socio-economic condition. He asked Officers and Officials of the Department to work in unison with farmers to ensure transfer of technologies to achieve higher production. He said that Government has launched this programme to increase production and productivity of saffron. During visit he also inspected the site of Spice Park at Dusoo.
Director Agriculture, Kashmir Dr. Farooq Ahmed Lone apprised the Mr. Ratanpuri that aim of National Mission on Saffron is to increase production, productivity, maintaining quality and improving marketing facilities for saffron growers. He said that in order to provide adequate marketing cover to saffron growers and eliminate middle man exploitation, a spice park with quality lab will be established. He said that Rs.22.60 Crore have been earmarked for construction of Spice Park. Director Agriculture, Kashmir said that during current year 1000 hectares of traditional saffron land will be brought under rejuvenation of saffron corms under the mission.
Ratanpuri appreciated the efforts of the Department in implementing National Mission on Saffron and asked farmers to adopt latest technical knowhow and co-ordinate with Agriculture Department.
Saffron growers appreciated the role of Agriculture Department for implementation of Saffron Mission and requested the Director Agriculture for Extension of date of replanting of saffron corns because of prevailing weather conditions.
Among others accompanying MP were Chief Agriculture Officer, District Agriculture Officer Inputs/Extension, Sub-Division Agriculture Officers, Officers and Officials of the Department.
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