Under the National Saffron Mission, Saffron Production was so far confined to Kashmir is now to be implemented in the North East region. The plants are to be transported from Kashmir to Sikkim.
So far, saffron production was confined of Jammu & Kashmir. It was mainly grown in the Pampore region (Jammu) of India’s North region. Pampore Town is known as “Saffron Bowl of Kashmir” and is the main contributor to saffron production.
Saffron production was confined to very few and specific in the Kashmir regions. Under National Saffron Mission brought in several measure, the area of production was too low. There were no enough bore wells in the saffron growing regions. According to the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, around 128 bore well are required to cultivate saffron in the jammu. So far only 3 have been constructed. The Mission constructed 85 more bore wells. Still the region needs more bore wells.
Floods in the jammu region is another major constraint to saffron production. Around Rupees 668 crore of saffron get damaged due to floods.
About National Saffron Mission
In 2010, Government of India launched National Saffron Mission. The Mission mainly focused to increase saffron production in Kashmir valley. GoI National Mission implemented for 4 years between 2010-14. Later Central Government extended for more years, as the production of saffron declined greatly in 2014.
The Government of India allocated Rupees 373 crore for the National Saffron Mission. However, only Rupees 150 crores have been spent.
What is Saffron?
It is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. It has been the world’s most costly spice by weight. Around 16 thousand families spread in 226 villages are dependent on saffron cultivation in the Union Territory Jammu & Kashmir.
It is Known as North East Centre for Technology Application and Research. NECTAR is an autonomous body of the Government of India under which the pilot project to explore feasibility of growing saffron in the North East states was determined.
GI Tag (Geographical indication)
In May 2020, Kashmir Saffron received Geographical indication (GI Tag). National Saffron Mission extended to North East states National Saffron Mission extended to North East states