PM Modi intervenes to boost Kashmir’s saffron industry

NAFED to keep spice available at all its outlets across the country

By: Afaq Bhat

Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that saffron of Jammu and Kashmir would be marketed through National Agricultural Cooperating Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) is a major step towards revival of saffron industry in the Valley.

An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The saffron industry in the past suffered a lot due to inconsistent policies of the past regimes.”

It’s in place to mention here that saffron production took a massive hit during the past 30 years as the industry was not fetching the desired results. With the government’s intervention and strenuous efforts under the Saffron Mission, farming has been revived. New technology and incentives have come handy for the farmers. “The NAFED being assigned the job to market the saffron will help the growers and would encourage more and more people to join the saffron cultivation,” the analyst added.

The Prime Minister, while making the announcement about handing over the saffron marketing to the NAFED, said, “Jammu and Kashmir’s world famous saffron will be sold across the country. This will give a big boost to Saffron farming in J&K.”

“Prime Minister Modi deserves kudos for doubling the income of saffron farmers in 2021 much before the target of 2022 set by him,” said an observer.

With the creation of Saffron Park the price of saffron has also increased. The income of farmers has also doubled.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for the sale of saffron through NAFED. “I express my deepest gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making J&K’s Kesar available at all outlets of NAFED nationwide which will enhance profitability of the Kesar producers and directly connect local farmers in the market,” the LG said in a tweet.

The government in the recent past has taken initiatives like Geographical Indication (GI) tagging and Spice Park at Pampore. These steps have proved to be game changers for the saffron growers. “The India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC) providing an e-auction for the saffron growers has helped them in fetching a good price for their crop. The GI tagging has provided an authentication certificate to the saffron in national and international markets where customers buy genuine saffron instead of fake brands sold in the name of Kashmiri Saffron,” the observer added.

According to the observers the National Saffron Mission has helped the growers in two ways i.e. one is that it has provided latest technologies of farming, besides it has provided incentives for saffron cultivation.

Kashmiri saffron remaining available at ‘NAFED’ shops across the country will further provide a boost to the world’s precious spice with respect to its marketing.

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