Despite Efforts, Saffron Cultivation Continues To Dwindle In Four Districts of Jammu And Kashmir
Despite the formation of a Saffron Mission in May 2020 to irrigate the land and the labelling of the crop as ‘geographically indicated’, experts fear that saffron cultivation will continue to decline in coming years.
Moreover, knocked by a change in climate, poor irrigation, and imports of the cheaper Iranian variety, the saffron production in the valley has also been declined rapidly. According to the Department of Agriculture Kashmir, the production of Kashmiri saffron has declined by 65% over the past two decades. Moreover, in the past 10 years, many farmers have already shifted to other high yielding farming options.
Previously, in May this year, Kashmiri saffron was given a special Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the geographical indications registry. Initially, the request was filed by the Directorate of Agriculture and Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The tag was given with the aim to make it illegal for someone outside the valley to make and sell a similar product under the ‘Kashmiri saffron’ name.
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