'GI Certification safeguards economic interests of saffron growers'

GI sign is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
GI sign is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar:  As the farmers are happy with the bumper saffron crop this year, the GI Certification of Kashmiri Saffron by the Geographical Indications Registry would also cease the adulteration of it and will put an end to the marketing of Saffron cultivated in other countries under the garb of being produced in Kashmir.

The adulteration of saffron was earlier affecting the economic interests of the farmers associated with this crop. To give a boost to saffron production in Kashmir, J&K Government has launched new initiatives including the introduction of GI Tagging.

GI sign is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

Saffron growers are hopeful that they will now get a better price for their produce after the introduction of GI tag to the saffron grown here. Kashmiri Saffron is grown at an altitude of 1,600 m to 1,800 m above mean sea level, which adds to its uniqueness and differentiates it from other saffron varieties available across the world.

Saffron is cultivated and harvested in the Karewas (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir and has been assigned Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry. The spice is grown in Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar regions of Jammu & Kashmir.

Iran is the largest producer of saffron in the world and India is a close competitor. However, with the GI tag of Kashmir saffron, India becomes the only Saffron producing Country for which GI has been assigned which will result in more prominence in the export market thereby boosting exports as well as helping the farmers to get the best remunerative price for economic sustainability.

Kashmir is having the distinction of producing one of the best saffron in the world, therefore it should be our individual/collective and moral responsibility to preserve this golden spice not only for a large number of families directly associated with the cultivation of saffron but for generations to come.

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