Srinagar, Jan 21: In 2020-21, after the National Mission on Saffron (NMS) was initiated by the Department of Agriculture, Kashmir produced over 18 metric tonnes of saffron – the union government scheme launched in 2010 with the aim of increasing the production of saffron.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Director of Agriculture, Kashmir Chawdhary Mohammad Iqbal revealed that the development of saffron spice has increased in multiples since the implementation of the NMS system.
“This year’s current snowfall will further increase saffron production as it is beneficial for saffron cultivation,” he said.
The official figures indicate that the rejuvenated cumulative total area of hectares under cultivation in the years 2020-21 was 2598.75, while the total area under the conventional cultivation system was 1116.5 hectares.
‘Total production, including the conventional area, amounts to 18,05 metric tonnes, while 13,36 metric tonnes of total production is produced under the NMS from the rejuvenated area.
The officials said that it was proposed to rejuvenate the area of 3715 hectares of saffron in this mission in a phased manner, out of which 2578.75 hectares are rejuvenated as at the date.
The goal set for the MNS is 3715 hectares, and 2578.75 hectares have been put under the scheme as of now.
“For the first time in the last 10 years, the annual yield of the world’s most expensive spice, #Saffron, cultivated in Kashmir has crossed 13 metric tonnes (sic),” the LG Office tweeted.
There has been a decline in the area under saffron cultivation in Kashmir over the past several years. The area under saffron cultivation decreased from 5707 hectares in 1996-97 to 3785 hectares in 2010-11.
The decrease in area was mainly due to low profit cost ratio and expensive cultivation costs, low productivity, change in weather patterns of orthodox cultivation methods resulted in moisture stress at the terminal growth stages were the key factors responsible for the decrease in crop yields.