Kashmir’s famous saffron farming gets a boost with new initiatives by the Government of India

Written By: Idrees Lone WION Web Team
Srinagar Published: Aug 17, 2021, 06:31 PM(IST)

With this quality assurance and GI Tagging, the government is able to sell the saffron products on all national and international platforms.  Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Tourists coming to the Kashmir valley always buy Saffron on their visit. But with initiative now, they can buy the best quality saffron online. They say it will be very helpful. 

A new saffron park has been started just for the sole purpose of processing and promoting the sale of saffron from the Kashmir Valley. 

To give a boost to saffron farming in the Kashmir valley, the government of India has initiated new schemes and techniques for its promotion. With the introduction of GI Tagging and new techniques of processing, the quality of Kashmir's saffron has been raised to be among the top in the world.

A new saffron park has been started just for the sole purpose of processing and promoting the sale of saffron from the Kashmir Valley. 

"We test the samples that we get here. There are 8 parameters we test these samples on, which are internationally recognized. Our lab is recognised across the world. The 8 parameters include moisture, extraneous matter and foreign matter, and total ash and three main characteristics. We grade them and then we do an e-auction. The farmers get the flowers and then we do the stigma separation and then we do the vacuum drying. Traditionally, farmers used to dry the saffron under shade at home, but due to that, the saffron used to lose its main components. We save all the parameters which help us to get the best grade. Our saffron is better than Spain and Iranian saffron. " said Dr Majid Ali, Deputy Technical Manager. 

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The saffron flowers are sent to this laboratory where scientists with all new technology process them and can retain the finest quality. With this quality assurance and GI Tagging, the government can sell the products on all national and international platforms. 

"Anytime a laboratory or institution checks the quality of a product, they have to survey the establishment. There are many procedures that ensure the quality and quantity of the product. There are many schemes and standard operating procedures.

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If we want to get these products recognised on international platforms, we have to follow these steps. It's not a cumbersome process, but it's a process that ensures the quality, quantity, and income of the farmers. SOP is made for people to benefit the people, so in that way, there are many processes and camps where we are aware of the farmers, "said Baseer Ul Chaudhary, DC Pulwama. 

With this step, the farmers and retailers of the Kashmir valley are extremely happy. They say it will benefit the farmers directly and they can sell the product despite lockdowns. 

"It's very good for us. The farmers were not satisfied with the money they would get for their produce. If there is a good price for it, it will help. Due to COVID-19, there were problems. Now if we could sell it online, it would be a lot more beneficial. We have been personally selling it online and if the government also did the same, it would help, "said Wahid Bhat, a farmer and retailer.

Tourists coming to the Kashmir valley always buy saffron on their visit. But with initiative now, they can buy the best quality saffron online. They say it will be very helpful. 

"Since childhood, we have heard about it and we get it every year. It's very good quality. If it's as good quality as we get from Kashmir, then it's very helpful. Then you don't need to wait long to get the best quality. It is good for the farmers also, as due to COVID-19, tourism has come to a halt. The farmers will not have to suffer from it. The product will not have to suffer. "said Nidhi Aggarwal, a tourist. 

These new initiatives by the government of India will benefit the farmers as well as the retailers in the Kashmir valley.

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