Park at Pampore equipped with hi-tech machinery for processing, drying, grading, packing of saffron
SRINAGAR: Saffron Spice Park at Dussu, Pampore is likely to be completed by the end of this month said Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura on Saturday.
The park costing Rs 37 crore is being constructed under National Saffron Mission (NSM), an official press note issued here read.
The information was revealed by the minister while addressing a two-day national seminar on “Saffron Production and Promotion”, organized by SKUAST (K) in collaboration with Agriculture Production Department under National Saffron Mission. Besides, scores of saffron growers attending the seminar, a delegation from Afghanistan was also present.
Hanjura said that the spice park would be equipped with hi-tech machinery for processing, drying, grading, and packing of saffron.
The park would be equipped with quality control laboratory, e-auction centre, garbage and waste utilization among other latest facilities for saffron growers, the press note added.
Hanjura said, “The objective of establishing the park is to revive the saffron cultivation on modern lines by providing the farmers with latest technology to increase their income.” While highlighting the importance of the crop, the minister said saffron is the trademark of Kashmiri culture and heritage and collective efforts are needed to preserve it.
He said the successful beginning of implementation of saffron mission would definitely show enthusiasm in rejuvenation of saffron culture. Hanjura also stressed upon agricultural officials to conduct such type of seminars in future so that farmers would get access to new technology in agriculture and its allied sectors.
According to the press note, Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Cooperative and Fisheries Mir Zahoor Ahmad said that the project is nearing completion and is expected to overcome irrigation facilities to saffron fields.
He also said that aim of introducing centrally funded saffron mission in the state was to have a quality control and e-marketing facilities for saffron growers at their doorstep.
He said that most of the people in his constituency, directly or indirectly are related to saffron production. “It is imperative for the state government to provide all possible facilities to saffron growers to revive the industry in the state.”
The seminar was attended by VC SKUAST (K), Principal Secretary Agriculture Production, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chairman Spice Board Government of India, Director Research SKUAST (K), large number of agricultural scientists from within and outside the state, faculty members and students of SKUAST (K).
A number of stalls were established by growers and agriculture department showcasing latest technology and sale of plant material and other products in agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, livestock, poultry, fisheries, farm machinery sectors. Later, the agriculture minister also gave achievers award to director agriculture Kashmir. He also gave awards to saffron growers in promoting saffron in the state.