Tribune News Service
Srinagar, November 18
While the harvest season of saffron in Kashmir is going on, officials and growers say they are expecting the highest production in a decade given the timely precipitation last year.
Ali Mohammad, a grower from Pampore, said while the crop was the good this year, the snowfall early this month created a little worry.
“The crop was very good but snow created a little harm to us during the harvest season,” he said, adding that they were still hopeful of good sale.
The Director, Department of Agriculture, said this year, while the evaluation of total production was going on as the harvesting season was yet to complete, they believed it was the highest production in 10 years.
“This year, we have a bumper crop and it is highest in the last 10 years. We are evaluating the total production and the figures will be shared soon,” said Director of Agriculture Department Aijaz Andrabi.
The harvest of the crop usually starts from October last week to November first week. While the early snowfall this month affected the harvesting, the official said it did not have much impact on the harvest of the crop as many had already plucked the saffron flowers that were spread in vast stretches of land that covers the national highway connecting to southern Kashmir.
Mohammad Ashraf, member of the Saffron Growers and Dealers Association, said, “Earlier, during the lockdown in Kashmir, we were fearful as we got disconnected with our domestic consumers and dealers. I had to travel to other parts to make a phone call. But now, we are again in touch with traders and expect good sales as the crop production is also high this year.”
To give a boost to the expensive crop, the government has taken several initiatives under the National Mission on Saffron.
Under it, a project of Rs 411 crore was approved by the Government of India in 2010-2011, under which an area of 3,715 hectares of saffron was proposed to be rejuvenated, a senior official of the Agriculture Department said.
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