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Spices Board and J&K tie up to promote Kashmiri saffron

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017,18:15 IST By anju A A A

Kochi | The Spices Board and the Jammu and Kashmir government have joined hands to boost production and promote high quality Kashmiri saffron in both domestic and global markets.

The Board and the state government are also going full throttle to secure GI (geographical indication) registration for authentication of high quality saffron from Kashmir.

The issues regarding the saffron trade came up for thorough deliberations at a two-day ‘National Seminar on Saffron’ in Srinagar recently, according to a Spices Board release here.

Speaking at the seminar, Spices Board Chairman A Jayathilak said the board and the Jammu and Kashmir government are working in tandem for getting the GI registration for saffron.

“The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs has initiated the development of Codex standard for saffron at its 3rd session held in Chennai in February 2017,” the release quoted him as saying.

The saffron trade would get a fillip by addressing the issue of post-harvest management, especially for drying and storage, to retain the colour, aroma and flavour of the spice, he said.

“Spices Board has always evinced keen interest in the promotion of saffron in both domestic and international markets, particularly in food, beverage, cosmaceutical, perfumeries and other segments to enhance the consumption through trade delegations, participation in international exhibitions and buyer-seller meets,” Jayathilak said.

The seminar, organised by S K University of Agricultural Science & Technology (SKUAST) of Kashmir and Agriculture Production Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, was inaugurated by Minister for Agriculture Production Ghulam Nabi Lone.

Jayathilak said Spices Board is promoting the setting up of common mini-processing facilities and value addition units to improve the marketability of saffron in the saffron- growing areas by farmer groups.

“We have recently supported a producer group in Pampore by providing Rs 15 lakh as grant-in-aid towards 75 per cent of the cost of machinery and equipment for setting up of mini-processing and value addition unit,” he said.

He said formation of Spices Producers Societies is being encouraged to boost aggregation of the produce, common processing, value addition, and direct marketing of the spice between growers and exporters, processors and institutional buyers.

“Such a measure will help maintain the quality throughout the supply chain and ensure better price realisation for the growers by eliminating the middlemen from the supply chain,” he said.   

Sponsored by the Union Ministry of Agriculture, National Horticulture Board, Spices Board and J&K Bank, the seminar focused on production and market promotion of Kashmiri saffron in domestic and international trade.

According to the release, India is a leading producer of premium and finest quality saffron in the world and Kashmiri saffron has been a recipient of the Great Taste Award, the world’s most coveted award for artisan and specialty food producers.