Visits IIKSTC Pampore, assures farmers, Saffron growers of support from government
Pampore: Union Minister of Heavy Industries, Government of India, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey on Sunday visited the India International Kashmir Saffron Trade Centre (IIKSTC) in Dusoo Pampore, located in the southern region of Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Accompanied by Deputy Commissioner of Pulwama, Dr Basharat Qayoom, SSP Awantipora Ajaz Ahmad Zargar, ACR Pulwama Ajaz Ahmad, ADC Awantipora Zaffar Husson Shawl, IIKSTC Dusoo head Shahnawaz Ahmad Shah, BMO Pampore Dr Asima Nazir, progressive farmers, and concerned officers, the Union Minister engaged in extensive discussions with agriculture department officials, officers, and farmers to explore ways to enhance saffron production and promote this heritage crop more vigorously.
During the visit, Dr Pandey stressed the importance of collaborative efforts to bolster saffron cultivation, pledging government resources and support for local communities and economic growth. He also inspected various sections of IIKSTC Dusoo, receiving briefings on the facilities available for saffron farmers, including preservation, grading, packing, labelling, processing, and marketing.
The event also saw felicitation ceremonies honouring individuals who excelled in various beneficiary-oriented schemes. The Union Minister distributed mementoes and prize amounts among these achievers. Abdul Majeed Wani and Javaid Ahmad, heads of the Saffron Growers Association, were also felicitated for their outstanding contributions.
Wani, a progressive farmer and representative of the Saffron Growers Association informed the Union Minister that processing of Saffron for GI tagging at IIKSTC Dusoo has helped them to fetch high rates, double the market rate.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey affirmed the Indian government’s commitment to preserving Kashmir’s world-renowned high-quality saffron with GI tagging. “We are dedicated to ensuring the continuous improvement of this industry,” he stated. He assured the farmers and saffron growers of comprehensive support from the government, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to promote saffron both within the country and globally.
Javaid Ahmad Ganaie, a local progressive farmer, expressed his satisfaction with the visit, highlighting the fruitful discussions held with the Union Minister. He emphasized the need for additional initiatives to further enhance saffron production and promote the industry.
“Today has been a productive day for the progress of the saffron industry,” he said. Ahmad Ganaie underscored the importance of diligent work by all farmers to advance the saffron program and ensure its continued growth.
The Union Minister assured us that he will convey our requests and concerns to the relevant authorities at the Central government level, Javaid said, adding, “I believe that today has been a very good day as the minister visited us, met with saffron growers, and we have received an appreciation letter from the district administration. I think it was a productive day for the progress of the Saffron industry.”
To advance this programme, all the farmers need to work diligently in their fields, only then can this industry progress further, he added.