2 day International Conference on Saffron and Seed Spices-Innovative technologies held at SKUAST-Kashmir

Srinagar: SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir inaugurated Two Days International Conference on “Saffron and Seed Spices-Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development ” held from 7-8 at Main Campus Shalimar Srinagar. The conference will provide a multi-disciplinary forum for scientists across the globe particularly India, Iran, Spain, Morraco , Azarbaijan and Afghastan to exchange information for high quality research in Saffron, particularly its medicinal value, besides diverse uses.
The Conference was inaugurated by Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member NITI Aayog, GoI, New Delhi as Chief Guest and Dr. S.K.Malhotra, Commissioner, Horticulture/Agriculture, Department of Farmer’s Welfare, GoI as Guest of Honour. The focal theme of the conference was Doubling the farmers income.
All the officers from SKUAST-Kashmir and Development departments attended the inaugural session besides Heads of Divisions, stations, units, KVKs and progressive saffron farmers attended the Conference.
The thematic areas of the conference under deliberations for two day incl;ude,Climate Resilience in Spice Crops Production and mitigating climate change, crop improvement and biotechnology, nutrient, soil, water management and plant health management, technology-led organic production of spices and safe foods, postharvest management, value addition, medicinal value and marketing of saffron and seed spices, extension/research gaps and impact of technological interventions for doubling farmer’s income in saffron and seed spices.
Dr. Sarfaraz Ahmad, Director Research in his inaugural address thanked Prof. Ramesh Chand and Dr. S. K. Malhotra for gracing the occasion and desired that the deliberations during the international conference will give new directions to research efforts for evolving innovative technologies for saffron and seed spices in the Union Territory and forecasted various challenges before Saffron farmers.
Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-J&K deliberated on research aspects of important seed spices and stressed for large scale tagging, labelling and value addition of saffron and other spices for improving the farm returns in this sector. He informed the house about the various policy decisions for improving profitability in agriculture and stressed on capitalizing on speciality crops to improve profitability of the farmers. He stressed on linking small production systems with marketing system and inculcate entrepreneurial culture to invite youth for future farming. Prof. Sharma reiterated the Govt. initiative of launching Parwaz Scheme under which perishable, low volume and high value crops can be transported to different destinations of the country and aboard in 48 hours at a very low cost for which government provides a 25% subsidy.
Prof. Ramesh Chand congratulated the University for undertaking various innovative programmes for the benefit of the farming community and informed that mountain areas should focus on small products with sizable efforts. He opined that the diversity of the region needs to be harnessed and yield gaps to be bridged with robust extension services. Stress was laid to go beyond geographical indicators through large scale commercialization, infrastructural, institutional and technological support from the Govt.
During the inaugural ceremony Prof. F.A. Nehvi, a Plant Breeder/architect of National Saffron mission, and pioneer to improve Kashmir Saffron Value Chain was bestowed with life time achievement award for his outstanding contribution in the field of saffron research and taking science to society in Kashmir. On the occasion, a few publications related to saffron cultivation and practices were released.
Prof. B.A.Alie, Organizing Secretary presented vote of thanks and besides deliberated on various aspects of saffron production at National and International level.



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