Pampore: As the saffron flower season approaches, a progressive farmer in Sambora village of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district has already celebrated his first saffron harvest of the year.
Farooq Ahmad Dar attributes his early success to relentless hard work in his fields but raises concerns about insufficient irrigation facilities and their potential impact on this season’s overall saffron production.
Dar emphasized the urgent need for authorities to take essential measures to safeguard the saffron industry, which is globally renowned. He called for proactive steps to secure the future prosperity of the Kashmiri saffron industry. Despite the planned installation of irrigation wells under the Saffron Mission program, these facilities remain non-operational, leading to insufficient irrigation options.
While speaking to Kashmir Reader, Farooq said, “This year, I have harvested saffron for the first time in the Pampore areas. So far, I have harvested saffron from my field three times, something that has not been seen elsewhere. I have applied nutrients and used organic matter on this saffron field.”
He explained that there has been a lack of timely rain this year, and he has invested in irrigation to ensure a successful saffron crop without using urea, making it an organic yield. “I have already harvested saffron from this field three times. I harvested the first batch on October 8, with around 50 to 60 saffron flowers at the time. After that, on October 10, I harvested 2 kg of saffron flowers, and today I’ve harvested 4 kg of flowers. I hope to harvest around 100 kgs of saffron flowers this season,” he said.
Dar noted the significance of irrigation for saffron production and highlighted the need for timely rainfall. He urged the Central government, with the assistance of the Jammu and Kashmir UT government, to complete the irrigation facilities created under the Saffron Mission. The installation of borewells was also planned, but they remain incomplete. He urged both governments to expedite the irrigation facility’s completion to boost saffron production.
Farooq Ahmad Dar’s success in achieving an early saffron harvest demonstrates the potential for improved farming practices and irrigation to enhance saffron production in the region.