Jammu, July 25
Saffron grown in Kashmir has received the geographical indication (GI) tag, with Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu saying that it is a historic step in bringing the Valley's brand on the global map.
The Union Government has issued a certificate of GI registration for the saffron grown in the Kashmir valley, said an official spokesperson.
Soon after taking over as Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chander Murmu took a personal interest in ensuring that Kashmir saffron gets GI certification, said the spokesperson.
Pampore, the hub of saffron cultivation in Kashmir, is expected to have a bumper crop this season due to initiatives taken by the National Mission on Saffron (NMS).
Under the NMS, a project worth Rs 411 crore was approved by the Centre and 3,715 hectare area for saffron cultivation was proposed to be rejuvenated.
"The GI certification will stop the prevalent adulteration of Kashmir saffron, thereby, authenticated saffron will fetch much better prices," said an official.
The official said that Kashmir saffron was the only one in the world grown at an altitude of 1600 metres which differentiates it from other varieties due to its unique characteristics like longer and thicker stigma, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavor and chemical-free processing.
The official said that an area of 2,500 hectare had been rejuvenated so far and a bumper production was expected during the current season.
Expressing happiness over the development, the Jammu and Kashmir LG said that this was the first major step to put saffron produced in the Kashmir valley on the world map.
With the GI tag, Kashmir saffron will acquire more prominence in export market and will help farmers get the best price for it, he said.
Murmu said that with the completion and inauguration of the State of Art Spice Park next month, these measures will prove to be a game changer for Kashmir saffron.
Navin K Choudhary, Principal Secretary to Government, Agricultural Production Department, said GI certification established specific geographical origin and certifies certain unique qualities of the product.
He said that on the directions of the LG, sprinkler irrigation systems were being installed on a war footing in saffron fields and are likely to be completed in the next two weeks. PTI
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