JK assembly passes bill on saffron

Greater Kashmir

Govt admits steep fall in land under saffron cultivation

Jammu, Mar 31: The state legislature today passed a bill seeking to save the land under saffron cultivation and regulate its quality. The bill was passed by a voice-vote.
Meanwhile the government admitted in that saffron production and land under its cultivation has witnessed a steep fall during past some years, besides decreasing demand of once world famous Kashmiri saffron in the market due to adulteration by the growers.
Giving figurative details while replying to the points raised by members during a discussion on the bill for regulating the quality of saffron moved by him in LA, minister for agriculture said that against five thousand hectare land under its cultivation earlier, at present saffron is being grown only on 3.8 thousand hectare land leading top steep fall in its production over the years.
He said during last year only 70 qt1s were produced against 140 qtls during preceding year. He also admitted that due to adulteration by some growers, Kashmiri Saffron has lost the reputation it used enjoy leading to considerable fall in the rates in the Market.
Explaining the objective of bringing the bill, Minister said that the enactment of the act aims at putting a check on the ill practices by some growers which has greatly affected the reputation of Kashmiri Saffron.
Expressing optimism that enactment of the act would help in regulating the quality of Saffron going out to markets from here, He said Minister claimed that following setting up of Research center by SKUAST at Baribal the Saffron growers have received the much needed short in arm as it has helped the growers to handle the problems caused due to shortage of irrigation water to a large extent.