Need to do more to ensure ‘saffron’ doesn’t disappear from Kashmir: Omar

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Srinagar, Mar 3: Reacting to a report that saffron production in Kashmir during the last couple of years is at one of the lowest recorded in the history, former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said, “We need to do more, much more to ensure saffron doesn’t disappear from Kashmir.”
“We need to do more, much more to ensure saffron doesn’t disappear from Kashmir – The World’s Most Expensive Spice Is on the Verge of Disappearing – Eater,” Abdullah, who is the Vice-President of National Conference (NC), wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Kashmir valley, besides its mesmerising natural landscape, is also known around the world for its saffron. The saffron which grows in the valley, mostly in Pampore in south Kashmir, is the sweetest, most precious spice in the world, which sells around Rs 3 lakh per kg.
However, over the years the production has drastically reduced despite central government funded National Saffron Mission (NSM) programme. The production in 2016 decreased from 4.2 kg per hectare to 1.4 kg per hectare, as per official records.
The saffron growers have blamed the government for the decline, alleging that they have failed to set up irrigation system under NSM. “The irrigation system, which consists of laying the water supply pipes and installing the sprinklers, was to be installed to manage the drought affecting the area,” the growers said.
However, they alleged that the failure of authorities to complete the project has resulted in the drastic fall of the production over last about three years.