SRINAGAR: To celebrate the onset of saffron harvesting season, Kashmir Saffron Festival-2013 began in Pampore today.
The event focuses on the vibrancy of the saffron fields amidst colourful festivities that add charm to the magnificent saffron fields.
Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir and Minister for Tourism, Mr. G.A. Mir jointly inaugurated 3-day Kashmir Saffron Festival at Dusoo, Pampore today.
MLA Pampore, Mr. Zahoor Ahmad Mir also attended the function.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Mr. Talat Parveiz, Managing Director JKTDC, Mr. Shamim Ahmad, Director Research SKUAST, Prof. Shafiq Ahmad Wani, Chairman, JK Tourist Alliance, Mr. Faiz Bakshi, President KHAROF, Mr. G.M. Bhat, President KHARA, Mr. Showkat Choudhary and President TASK, Mr. Ibrahim Siah were also present on the occasion.
The dignitaries also inaugurated Zaffron Centre, set up by SKUAST-K on the occasion.
A film on The Saffron Route was also presented, celebrating the Saffron Bloom.
Addressing the function, Agriculture Minister said that Saffron Festival has been organized to celebrate the arrival and harvesting of this precious crop. He said that marketing facilities have also been provided to farmers so that socio-economic conditions of the people concerned are improved.
Minister for Tourism, Mr. GA. Mir in his address said that Saffron Festival is aimed at attracting more and more tourists to the State besides providing market to the farmers on global level.
Expressing satisfaction over the rush of tourists this year, the Tourism Minister said that the season was fully peaceful and the persons related to tourism earned their livelihood and lived a dignified and honourable life.
He appealed farmers to preserve the popularity of Saffron by showcasing the crop before tourists visiting Valley.
The Tourism Minister said that on the concluding day of the festival, best growers will be awarded for their efforts in multiplying the production of saffron.
The dignitaries flagged off saffron run and encouraged the tourists with lucky draw who participated in the festival.
The three lucky tourists who bagged three positions through draw of lots were awarded with 2 nights and 3 days free stay in Gulmarg and Pahalgam.