Uri grows Kashmir’s prized saffron
'Government Support Can Help Improve Quality Of Pricey Spice'
NAYEEM SHOWKAT KHAN
Uri, Aug 30: If you thought saffron grew only on Pampore karevas, here is some surprise: A farmer in Salamabad here has succeeded in cultivating Kashmir’s prized spice in his fields.
“I am cultivating saffron in my fields for last two years. Last year there was good yield,” Muhammad Sadiq Awan of Salamabad Uri said, adding that instead of selling it, “I gifted the spice to my neighbours and relatives as it was not of standard quality.”
Awan believes the temperature in Uri is quite favourable for saffron cultivation but government “is not giving support to the aspiring growers.”
“I was provided with the seed bulbs of saffron by the Agriculture department. But they never extended any help to me with the result the quality of the yield was low,” he said.
Awan added: “I approached the department and asked them to conduct soil test before I could grow the saffron. But they did not conduct any soil test,” he said.
Nonetheless, Awan has kept his fingers crossed. “This year I am cultivating saffron on a patch of two kanals with a hope to get good and quality yield.”
Awan proposes that Uri should also brought under government of India-sponsored National Saffron Mission. “An initiative to bring Uri under this Mission will help improve quantity of the saffron here,” he said.
“If government takes the initiative seriously and provides us with all the assistances, then we will be able to grow a good quality of saffron here,” he insists. “Last year I incurred huge loss by growing saffron instead of other crops. Now it will be very much tough to bear this again as my only source of income is through agriculture. At least government should provide some financial assistance against the loss,” he reasons.
Local farmers told Greater Kashmir that government should come forward to support them financially, which could motivate them towards saffron cultivation.
Awan said government support could help improve the quality of the expensive spice.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 31 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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