Muktsar, November 9
Without having any farming background, two brothers from Muktsar town have grown saffron and that too in a room at their house. Law graduate Raghu Gumber, 25, and banker Somil Gumber, 31, started saffron cultivation last year, but got success in their second attempt this year.
Notably, this crop – known as one of the most expensive spices – is generally cultivated in temperate climate condition, especially in Kashmir.
Raghu said, “Neither I nor my brother have any farming experience. We belong to a family of traders. It was our dream to do something unique. Then we got an idea to start saffron cultivation. We spent nearly Rs 6 lakh on setting up a ‘lab’, which is a cabin of 10x10 ft with a temperature control system. Besides, we purchased some wooden trays and iron racks. The saffron cultivation season begins at the end of July and the harvesting starts in November.”
“We purchased saffron seeds from Pampore in J & K last year. However, in our first attempt, we did not meet with success. This year, we again tried our hands at saffron cultivation. We purchased nearly 2.5-qunital seeds at about Rs 600 per kg and started indoor farming. It just requires automated devices to control temperature, humidity and light. This soil-free farming technique is called aeroponic. As of now, we have harvested 100-125 gm saffron crop and are hopeful to get 300-350 gm total produce. Talks are underway with a company to sell it,” said Raghu.
Kuljeet Singh, Assistant Director, Horticulture, Muktsar district, said, “I am unaware of saffron cultivation trial in Muktsar. The PAU has not recommended its cultivation in our state. It is good to know that two they have got success in their trial.”
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