Director Agriculture assures farmers’ insurance demands
Srinagar: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri (IAS), made his inaugural visit to the India International Trade Centre (IIKSTC) in Dusoo Pampore, marking a significant step in addressing challenges faced by saffron growers in the region. During his visit, a crucial meeting was conducted at IIKSTC to discuss vital issues concerning irrigation facilities, saffron harvesting season, and the overall functioning of the center.
The meeting, attended by Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Dr. Basharat Qayoom (IAS), Director Agriculture Kashmir Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhury, Director Horticulture Kashmir Ghulam Rasool Mir, Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing J&K, Chief Engineer MED, Additional Deputy Commissioner Awantipora Zaffar Husson Shawl, district officers, and saffron growers, focused on the progress of the National Mission on Saffron and initiatives to enhance saffron production.
Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhury, presented a comprehensive review, emphasizing the mission’s role in improving saffron quality. The Divisional Commissioner actively engaged with farmers, addressing their concerns and directing officials to take necessary actions. The meeting highlighted the government’s commitment to the saffron industry’s welfare and growth, emphasizing community involvement through Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) for operational and maintenance systems.
During the visit, the Divisional Commissioner and his team inspected different sections of IIKSTC, where they were briefed about grading, labeling, packing, drying, processing, and marketing facilities available at the center. Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhury, provided detailed information about post-harvest management techniques, quality evaluation, and e-marketing facilities offered to saffron farmers at IIKSTC Dusoo, Pampore.
The Divisional Commissioner and his team inspected the saffron field of the Dusso research station, and expressed satisfaction with the bumper saffron production this year. He commended the availability of the Geographical Indication (GI) tagged facility at IIKSTC Dusoo Pampore and underscored the historical significance of Kashmiri Saffron, which has been globally renowned since the 6th century.
Addressing concerns raised by saffron growers, the Divisional Commissioner assured the resolution of irrigation issues, bringing satisfaction to all parties involved. He emphasized the importance of preventing illegal land conversions in saffron fields and urged the community to actively participate in preserving this heritage for future generations.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader Divisional Commissioner Kashmir said, “Today we visited IIKSTC Dusoo. Kashmiri Saffron has been globally renowned since the 6th century. During our meeting, we discussed the ongoing historical significance of Saffron, involving Saffron growers, DC Pulwama, Director Agriculture, Director Horticulture. We extensively addressed irrigation issues, and I am delighted to report that the concerns have been successfully resolved, bringing great satisfaction to all parties involved.”
Director Agriculture Kashmir Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhury addressed the farmers’ demand for insurance facilities in saffron crops, highlighting the government’s continuous efforts to implement the crop insurance scheme. He assured farmers of the benefits they would receive in case of losses, similar to other crops like paddy, maize, and wheat.
“Regarding insurance, the UT government has been making continuous efforts over the past two years. We have issued tenders three times based on our scale of finance. However, the companies involved in the tender process raised some observations, which led to the tender not reaching its final stage. Insha Allah, I assure you that as the mission director of the crop insurance scheme, we will reissue the tender. Farmers, just like in paddy, maize, and wheat crops, will benefit from this insurance scheme. If there are any losses, farmers will be able to make full use of the benefits in the coming year,” he said.
Abdul Majeed Wani, head of saffron growers, expressed satisfaction with the meeting’s outcomes, emphasizing the focus on addressing challenges faced by saffron growers, especially concerning irrigation issues and land conversions. He appreciated the Divisional Commissioner’s assurance to promptly resolve these problems, indicating a positive step forward for the saffron industry in the region.