‘Kashmiri Saffron gains more prominence with GI tagging’

‘Kashmiri Saffron gains more prominence with GI tagging’
A boy holds a basket of plucked saffron flowers in Pampore area of south Kashmir's Pulwama on Saturday November 6, 2021. [Representational Image]File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: 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.

The GI Certification would also cease the prevalent adulteration of Saffron and will put an end to the marketing of Saffron cultivated in other countries under the garb of being produced in Kashmir which otherwise was defeating the economic interests of the farmers associated with this crop.

Highlighting the importance of preserving the unique identity of Kashmiri Saffron, an official of the Agriculture Department said that Kashmir is having the distinction of producing one of the best saffron in the world, therefore it is 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 our generations to come.

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