Blue Saffron! Cover story 14 November, 2022 issue

Blue Saffron!

News Kashmir Exclusive 

Saffron is not a common spice for Kashmir but iconic symbol of our heritage.  It is a representation of our age old heritage and diversity . Kashmir is home to world’s best quality saffron  grown. Pampore the South Kashmir town is the saffron capital of Kashmir.  Over the years many issues had confronted the saffron Spice of Kashmir. Lack of irrigation facilties coupled with Pampore converted in Jungle of construction and erratic weather had ruined the prospects of saffron for many years.

But now the realities are changing towards better. As this year better and bumper saffron crop is expected. 

Kashmir valley  is among the only three places on planet earth growing this spice. Saffron (pronounced /ˈsæfrən/) is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the Iridaceae.  used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice by weight is native to Southwest Asia Saffronfields.

Being one of the world’s costliest spices, saffron is used both in cooking and for producing cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. 

As a matter of fact, Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices and is known as the king of condiments. It fetches between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹2.5 lakh per kg.

The annual yield of saffron crossed 13 metric tonnes in 2020 for the first time in 10 years. This year, the production is expected to break more records.

It is worth mentioning here that The tourists visiting the valley are stopping at the saffron farms to see how it is grown. A lot of tourists are buying saffron from the farms as well.

What stands out is thev GI tagging of ‘Kashmiri saffron$ by the Jammu and Kashmir government is doing wonders for the farmers associated in the production of saffron in the state. The certification under the Geographical Indications Registry will not just bring the adulteration to a halt but will also terminate the trade of saffron grown in other parts of the world being marketed as the Kashmiri saffron.

On the otherhand of the spectrum, The saffron cultivators in Kashmir Valley are adapting newer techniques such as indoor cultivation to grow saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world. Farmers have to adapt as climate change has affected outdoor production.

The expert pulse and hope is that saffron from Kashmir would continue to rule  the world again.