Kashmir Expects Bumper Saffron Crop This Season

SRINAGAR - Pampore, the hub of saffron in Kashmir, is expected to have a bumper crop of the spice this season due to initiatives taken by the national mission on saffron (NMS).

Under the NMS, a project of Rs 411 crore was approved by the Government of India in 2010-2011, under which an area of 3,715 hectare of saffron was proposed to be rejuvenated, a senior officer of Agriculture Department said.

Under the mission, India International Saffron Trade Centre (Saffron Park) has been commissioned at Dussu area in Pampore and is likely to be inaugurated soon.

At this centre, farmers will get hi-tech post harvesting facilities like drying, stigma separation, packing, grading and quality tests. Besides, facility for marketing of Saffron through e-auctioning is also being extended to the growers, he added.

"We are expecting a bumper saffron crop this season," he said.

The officer said that area of 2,500 hectares have been rejuvenated so far and bumper production is expected during the current season.

To generate a good yield, the department has taken many initiatives including guidance on saffron corms on scientific basis, integrated nutrient management, integrated disease and pest management and technical guidance by the field functionaries to the growers.

Saffron production in Jammu and Kashmir was under threat of extinction due to decline in productivity from an average of 3.13 kg per hectare to 1.88 kg per hectare over the years before NMS, he said.

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