Kashmiri find saffron farming promising

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Udhampur (Jammu), Dec 10 (ANI): Farmers in Jammu are happy with favourable climatic conditions that would result in a bumper saffron crop.

Cultivators and agriculture experts confirmed the suitability of the soil of Udhampur district in Jammu. Earlier, only the area around Kishtwar was considered the major domain of saffron production.

According to the officials from the Agriculture Department of Udhampur district, the experimental farming of saffron has been successful in the soil of Basantgarh in Udhampur district.

Farmers in Basantgarh rejoiced as they saw the viability of saffron production in the area.The soil is good and the climate of favourable. The yield of saffron will really bring prosperity to the people of the area. The people who have tried saffron plantation in five or 10 households as a sample, have found the experiment successful," said Abdul Rashid Wani, a saffron cultivator in Basantgarh.

Earlier, the supply of saffron seldom met the demand which was high. Moreover, the farming was restricted to only some parts of the state.

Seeing this, an experiment was conducted under which remote areas of Udhampur district were chosen for planting an experimental crop.

Much to the exhilaration of experts and farmers, the experiment was reportedly successful.

"It is the second year now and the plots used for the demonstration crop have already confirmed the feasibility of saffron farming in this area. The corn multiplied and the flowers blossomed and then they replicated. The soil has accepted the saffron," said Hari Dev Sharma, Chief Agriculture Officer of Udhampur District.

In India, saffron cultivation is undertaken only in the Kashmir valley.

Saffron is one of the world's most expensive herbal produce. Its delicate flowers are harvested only in October-November. The flowers begin to grow after the first rains and start blooming usually mid-October when the temperature is just right.

Kashmir's cool climate and rich soil with excellent drainage and organic content make the location an ideal thriving ground for this spice but a lapse in any one of the conditions can spoil the entire crop. (ANI)

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