PAMPORE: With Kala Zeera cultivation getting popular among Saffron farmers in Pampore, who now see a better return on the crop along with their priced spice, an event by SKUAST was held to propagate this technique.
The cultivation of Kala Zeera has been introduced to find viability of inter cropping in Pampore areas known for Saffron production.
Abdul Rashid Wani, a farmer from Ladhoo village of Pampore told Kashmir Reader that after planting Kala Zeera in his saffron lands he has found an excellent way to increase his income as the Kala Zeera crop cultivation has been a successful experiment.
“ The saffron growers have been under stress as the average crop production had fallen in their lands and many people had been considering land conversion either into orchids or utilizing for residential and commercial purposes,” he said adding that this might give an impetus to saffron production which otherwise had been on decline due to diminishing returns.
The farmers had assembled to observe Kala Zeera day being organised by Advanced Research Station for Saffron and Seed Spices (ARSSS), Director of Research SKUAST-Kashmir organized Kala Zeera Day in collaboration with Department of Extention, SKUAST-Kashmir and Directorate of Agriculture, Kashmir at Dusso Pampore.
Prof. J.P Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-Kashmir was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
He said that the purpose for organizing the Kala Zeera Day was to demonstrate an intercropping system which can be adopted by the farmers for doubling their income through intensive crop planning.
“ Usually the karewas in Pampore produce Saffron which generates an income of about 12 lakh which is harvested in October month,” he said adding that the land remains unutilized for almost 11 months.
He told Kashmir Reader that they have been researching intercropping of Kala Zeera and saffron which would almost double the farmers income.
He said that they had been planning cultivation of flowers as an option to increase farm incomes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prof. Sarafraz A Wani Director Research, Prof. D M Makhdoomi Director Extension, Prof. Gulzafar Registrar SKUAST-Kashmir, Dr. B.A. Allai, Head of the Station Pampore, Saffron growers association president and farmers were present on the occasion.