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Kashmir Farmers Seek Revision in Saffron Rates after a Good Harvest This Year

After so many years, there is a wave of joy in the Kashmir Valley as the saffron farmers are busy plucking saffron flowers in their fields. The Pampore area in Pulwama is the main hub for growing saffron

Dimple Gupta
Saffron Flowers
Saffron Flowers

After so many years, there is a wave of joy in the Kashmir Valley as the saffron farmers are busy plucking saffron flowers in their fields. The Pampore area in Pulwama is the main hub for growing saffron.

Around 3700 hectares of land is being used for saffron cultivation. Now, it’s being cultivated across different districts of Kashmir. 

Zahoor Ahmad Kuchay, a farmer said – “It’s a good harvest this season. The produce is much better than the previous years. It was really less in the last 5-6 years, but this year due to rainfall it is a good harvest. Kashmir Saffron is of the best quality and it has a lot medicinal properties. We are hoping that the government will help us to market saffron. The GI tag will help us a lot. The rains are the main factor for the increase in the produce. 

Everything is getting expensive in the market and the saffron farmers are saying that the rates need to be increased for them to sustain as the process involved in growing and processing the saffron is also very expensive. “This year the produce is much better than last year. We are hopeful the market will grow since we have a lot of production this year. The saffron rates are not growing and we want the government to intervene to increase the rates. It’s very expensive to grow saffron and we need the government to revise the rates. We have been demanding it for a long time now” – said Sahil Ahmad Yatoo, a farmer. 

In ancient Sanskrit literature, saffron is referred to as ‘Bahukam’, and its cultivation is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir by the Central Asian immigrants in around 1st Century BCE. In 2020, Kashmir saffron received GI Tag; this initiation is going to help in saffron sales across the world.  

Many tourists coming to Kashmir are visiting saffron fields for the first time and are appreciating the efforts that go into cultivating saffron. “I am seeing it for the first time. Kashmir is famous for saffron and I am getting happy to see the saffron flowers. It’s beautiful and now I see how difficult it is to grow. Salute to the farmers who are growing it! We use it in making desserts, pregnant women have it. It has a lot of nutritional value”, said a tourist.  

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