NATIONAL

Kashmir saffron now has GI certificate

Farmers processing saffron flowers at Pampore in Kashmir.NISSAR AHMAD

Farmers processing saffron flowers at Pampore in Kashmir.NISSAR AHMAD  

Farmers will get the best price: L-G

The J&K administration on Saturday issued the certificate of geographical indication (GI) registration for saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley, even as the crop sees a decline in its production and shrinking of land under cultivation.

Describing it as “a momentous decision of the Centre”, J&K Lieutenant-Governor G.C. Murmu said this was the first major step to put saffron produced in the Kashmir Valley on the world map with authentication.

“With the GI tag, Kashmir saffron will acquire more prominence in the export market and would help farmers get the best remunerative price,” he said.

Mr. Murmu, while complimenting the Director-Agriculture, Kashmir, said restoring the pristine glory of Kashmir saffron is top priority for both the government of the Union Territory as well as the Centre.

The GI tag would also stop adulteration prevalent in its trade, he said.

Kashmir saffron, grown at an altitude of 1,600 metres, saw a steep decline in production by around 65%, from 16 tonnes to 5.6 tonnes in 2018. According to an official data, land under saffron cultivation has also come down to 3,715 hectares in 2009-10 from 5,707 hectares in 1996.

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