1500 new nurseries across UT to help roll out 750 MT saffron corm in next 3 years
Post by Javid Sofi on Saturday, August 26, 2023
Pulwama, Aug 25: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is mulling to produce around 750 MT (metric ton) saffron corm in next three years through establishment of 1,500 high quality nurseries.
This was stated in a communiqué sent by the Department of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare to saffron growers in the Valley.
The document reads that under promotion of niche crops in Jammu and Kashmir, it is proposed to establish 1,500 nurseries during the next three years, which will provide 750 MT of quality planting material for area expansion under saffron in the non-traditional areas.
GM Dhobi, Joint Director Agriculture Extension, told Rising Kashmir that HADP (Holistic Agriculture Development Plan) has 29 focus areas, one being saffron.
He explained that the number of corms has seen a decrease in the last few years due to climate change and other factors. He further said that under HADP UT administration is keen to raise nurseries in a phased manner for corm production. “This year we will be establishing 350 nurseries,” he said, adding that each nursery will be raised on 2 kanals of land.
The Joint Director agriculture informed that during the first phase, the nurseries will be introduced in four districts which include Pulwama, Srinagar and Budgam in Kashmir division and Kishtwar in Jammu division. “After three years we will get the desired result,” he said, adding that famers in Jammu and Kashmir will be having sufficient quantities of corms as they used to have several years ago.
Besides, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers welfare Kashmir along with Sher-i- Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) has designed and developed a project under HADP for nine potential districts.
Accordingly, 10 hectare (ha) land under almond and cereal crops will be covered for production of quality planting material of saffron. In addition, the area around SKUAST-K’s Saffron Research Station in Dusso area of Pampore will also be utilised for corm production.
“The department of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare and SKUAST-K have already chalked out a strategy to utilise the area for corm multiplication under promotion of niche crops project duly approved by the government,” the document reads.
The Joint Director also informed that strict directions on restricting export of corms outside Kashmir have been issued. He explained that a committee has been framed in order to streamline saffron corm production in Kashmir division and to restrict the export of corms outside the valley. Farooq Ahmad Dar, a representative of saffron growers of Kashmir, said that he appreciates LG administration and authorities of agriculture department for restricting export of corms outside the valley. “This was one of our demands that has been fulfilled,” he said, adding that saffron growers of Kashmir urge authorities for implementing the HADP on saffron in letter and spirit for revolutionising this industry in Kashmir. He also opined that corm nurseries be established on large clusters for effective rodent management .