Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today said that the Saffron Spice Park at Dussu, Pampore is likely to be completed by the end of this month.
The park costing Rs 37 crore is getting constructed under National Saffron Mission (NSM).
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 were also present there.
The Minister said that the Spice Park would be equipped with hi-tech machinery for processing, drying, grading, and packing of saffron.
Besides, the park would be equipped with quality control laboratory, e-auction centre, garbage and waste utilization among other latest facilities for saffron growers.
Mr. 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.
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. Mr. Hanjura said the successful beginning of implementation of saffron mission would definitely show enthusiasm in rejuvenation of saffron culture.
Mr. Hanjura stressed upon the agricultural officials to conduct such type of seminars in future also so that farmers would get access to new technology in agriculture and its allied sectors.
On the occasion, Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Cooperative and Fisheries Mir Zahoor Ahmad said that the project is nearing to its completion and is expected to overcome irrigation facilities to Saffron fields.
Mir Zahoor 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. Mir Zahoor said that 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 within and outside 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. The Minister also gave awards to saffron growers in promoting saffron in the state.