Meanwhile, Kashmir’s farmers are experimenting with indoor farming to battle climate change.
Pampore, the main centre of saffron cultivation in Kashmir,
The growing demand for Kashmiri saffron has come with a decline in production — it has dropped from 30,000-35,000 kg a few decades ago to a mere 4,000-5,000 kg now,
Saffron is one of the most delicately handled condiment crops in the world, and is hand-picked, mostly by women, between October and November
The best variety of saffron, a crop known as ‘red gold’ locally, is selling at ₹3.25 lakh per kg this year, a quantum jump from ₹0.30 lakh per kg in 2005-06.
conversion of land to orchards and housing complexes.
Another factor that poses a major threat to saffron production is pollution from the proliferation of cement factories in Pulwama.
Jammu and Kashmir are the second largest saffron producing areas in the world (second to Iran) and the only place the spice is grown in the country.
In September 2019, Kashmir’s saffron got a GI tag, which became a game-changer in maintaining its quality and winning back the eroded faith of customers
The national demand for Kashmiri saffron is to the tune of 100 metric tonnes and the gap is filled by Iranian saffron. “Iran’s saffron is cheaper than Kashmir’s,
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