GoI to support saffron growers for establishing small drying units for improving spice quality
Pampore: To further enhance the quality of saffron produce in the Pampore area, the GoI will support growers for setting up small drying units for this prized spice.
This was disclosed by Additional Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives GoI, Vivek Agarwal, who is on a five day visit to the valley at India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre( IIKSTC) Dusoo Pampore.
“I am very happy to see that the use of improved technologies is helping farmers to alleviate their economic conditions.
He said that prior to GI tagging, saffron growers used to get rupees 80 thousand per kilogram of saffron. After getting GI tagging one kilogram is sold for rupees 1.50 lakh,” he said.
He added that natural sun drying decreased quality of saffron produce and if growers avail agri infra funds for setting up sun drying units in their fields it will decrease damages done by natural sun drying and also boost international market for the saffron.
” We will be preparing a project for this so that growers are benefited “he said, talking to Kashmir Reader at IIKSTC.
He then inspected various facilities at the centre including Stigma Separation Unit, Cold Storage Unit, Hi-tech Quality Control Lab, Drying Section, Packaging Section and e-auctioning platform. He was briefed by Director Agriculture Kashmir about various facilities for preserving, grading ans marketing of saffron.
He held a detailed interactive session with the progressive saffron growers led by Saffron grower’s association president Abdul Majeed Wani.
“He sought our suggestions and assured us that they will support growers in improving the quality of saffron,” Abdul Majeed Wani told Kashmir Reader.
Director Agriculture Kashmir Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal on the occasion gave a detailed overview of the functioning and services provided by IIKSTC Dusoo to the Saffron growers. He also highlighted the importance of the ambitious National Saffron Mission. He said that the centre has introduced an e-auctioning platform for the saffron growers where they could trade virtually on national as well as international platforms.
During the visit Director General Horticulture J&K Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, Joint Director Agriculture Extension Kashmir Mohammad Qasim Gani ,Senior officers of the Department were also present on the occasion.