JAMMU: Saffron, replanted under National Saffron Mission (NSM) – a government of India scheme – has witnessed 100 percent growth in production from 2 kilograms per hectare yield to 4 kg per hectare in last two years, J&K government Monday said.
In reply to a question of ruling National Conference MLC Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Minister of State for Agriculture Nazir Ahmad Gurezi told Legislative Council the total area targeted to be brought under Saffron Mission is 3715 hectares, and out of which 1867 hectares have been rejuvenated till date.
“The Mission is underway and target is to be achieved in a phased manner. The yield of saffron in the area replanted two years back increased from 2 kgs per hectare to 4 kgs per hectare,” Gurezi said.
The minister also said no report of sowing of sub-standard corms has been received as the rejuvenation or replanting was carried out under strict supervision of departmental functionaries.
The department is procuring the properly sorted and graded corms or seeds by selection from the local farmers or saffron growers out of their local produce, Gurezi told the House.
He also said that it was ensured that the seed or corms so procured were always of standard quality with all the qualifying parameters, and the minimum size of the disease, pest and dirt free corms procured is 2.5 cm dia with weight from 8g and above up to 15g.
“The monitoring of whole process of procurement of corms is done by the committees constituted at district level and finally tested by the division of plant pathology SKUAST-Jammu/Kashmir and only then further supplies are made to the farmers,” the minister said.
He also said no new varieties have been introduced and only local seed corm is taken for multiplication and introduction in different traditional areas which are suitable and acclimatized within local environment.