Jammu: The Rajouri district came upon the saffron map of Jammu and Kashmir, when a farmer Vishal Chander Sharma successfully undertook saffron cultivation in his fields in this border district, surprising people with the purple-orange flower bloom in their neighborhood.
Influenced by the cultivation of saffron in the Kishtwar area of the Jammu region, the Rajouri administration picked up the idea of Saffron cultivation in the district.
Apart from Kashmir valley’s Pampore belt, saffron is cultivated only in the Kishtwar district outside the valley.
“It is a dream cum true. I never thought saffron could be cultivated here (Rajouri). But we were successful in bringing in new areas of J&K on the saffron map of the UT,” farmer Vishal Chander Sharma said.
Sharma is highly thankful to the district administration of Rajouri and the department of agriculture for motivating him to cultivate saffron in this area.
He was previously dependent on subsistence agriculture and was cultivating wheat and maize but now he is keen to cultivate saffron crops in his fields to earn more income and to improve his socio-economic status, officials of the agriculture department said.
Giving details, officials said that the district administration desired the project to be taken upon an experimental basis by the agriculture department in the Darhal Subdivision as the terrain and climatic conditions of that area are almost akin to that of Kishtwar.
“The Department selected one farmer Vishal Chander Sharma of panchayat Kot Dhara, block Dhangri, zone Fatehpur. The farmer possesses only 15 Kanal un-irrigated land in which he has been growing wheat and maize crops,” a senior official said.