Srinagar, May 29: Farmers from Pampore area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district have sought intervention of the government over the decline of saffron corm.
As per the farmers, there has been a decline in the saffron corms. After many years saffron production saw an increase owing to favourable climatic conditions.
Irshad Ahmad, an organic farmer who also grows saffron, said climate change and other factors have had a bad impact on the saffron production and its seed.
“The presence of porcupine and rat in saffron fields has caused damage to planted saffron corms in some areas. It is also a reason for the decline in the corms,” he said.
“Many farmers have used tillers for digging of land which is not a favourable practice for corms,” the farmer said. He said the agriculture department should also work on the irrigation facilities that will add to the saffron production and the corms.
The saffron growers are worried over the decline in the saffron corms due to many reasons calling it a grave issue. “The corms have declined here. We have already taken up the matter with concerned authorities,” a spokesperson of Saffron Growers Association Pampore said.
He said the corms have declined owing to drought-like situations over the past several years and many corms are sent outside Jammu and Kashmir.
“The sending of corms outside should be banned and we have requested the same matter to the Agriculture Department,” the spokesperson said.
The saffron farmers also demand that the government take appropriate measures to grow corms in huge numbers and work for its promotion and propagation.
“The interventions are needed to improve its production further for the large benefit of farmers and the move will connect more farmers,”
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal said that the department is working for the promotion of corm and several measures are being taken for the same. “It will take us some 15 days to work in this direction,” he said.
Out of total land under saffron cultivation in Kashmir, more than 90 percent is in Pampore area of Pulwama while the rest is in Budgam and Srinagar. Known for its special aroma, saffron is a powerful flavouring and colouring agent.