Kashmir’s saffron gets GI tag
Kashmir Valley’s Saffron has got the much-awaited geographical indication (GI) certification from the central government in a fillip to the homegrown spice, which is likely to fetch higher prices in the international markets.
Jammu & Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor (L-G) GC Murmu expressed happiness at the Centre’s decision and said that this is the first major step to put Kashmir Saffron on the world map, thanks to the GI tag.
The recognition would help Kashmir Saffron to acquire more prominence in the export market and would help the farmers get the best remunerative price, L-G Murmu said.
The L-G complimented Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, director of agriculture, J&K, for his relentless pursuit for the GI tag for the homegrown Kashmiri spice.
He said the restoration of Kashmir’s saffron’s pristine glory has been a top priority for both the union territory (UT) administration and the Central government.
The inauguration of the state-of-the-art Spice Park at Pampore in south Kashmir in August under the National Saffron Mission (NSM) would prove to be a game-changer for the saffron industry, he added.
Navin K. Choudhary, principal secretary, agriculture production department, J&K, said that GI certification establishes specific geographical origin and certifies certain unique qualities of the product.
GI certification enables those who have the right to use the sign in order to prevent a third party from using the sign. The GI certification would also stop the prevalent adulteration of Kashmir Saffron and the authenticated spice would fetch a much better price, he added.
Kashmir Saffron is the only one spice in the world grown at an altitude of 1,600 metres, making it a one-of-a-kind variant that is known for its unique characteristics such as natural deep-red colour, aroma, bitter flavor, etc.
Choudhary said the sprinkler irrigation system is being installed in saffron fields as per L-G’s instructions. The installation to likely to be completed in the next two months, he added.