Successful Trial Tests Of Saffron Production In Udhampur In J&K

3 November 2009
Ground Report
Vijay Kumar

Udhampur: Breaking perception and barriers of conducive soil and climatic conditions for saffron cultivation, Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, has in a major revolutionary agricultural break through successfully produced Saffron in the fields of higher reaches of Panchari, Dudu and Basantgarh. Emerging on the agricultural map of the country as third district prominently for cultivation and production of saffron, after Pampore in Srinagar and Kishtwar district in Jammu region, Udhampur district has followed these in line. Confirming the reports about successful trial produce of saffron in the fields of block Panchari and in block Dudu-Basantgarh of the district, the District Development Commissioner, Udhampur, Ajay Khajuria who was on a special visit to inspect the magnitude of success registered in trials, has described it as initiation of red revolution. Khajuria said that saffron has long been known as the Golden condiment, for being the most expensive in the world adding that the day iss not too far when poor farmers of these remote hilly belts would willingly adopt saffron cultivation for their socio-economic transformation. “Keeping in view the high demand, lofty returns and easy marketing due to its non-perishable characteristics, it is a most suitable alternative for the farmers of hilly belts of the district which have poor communication facilities making it difficult to transport fruit and vegetable produce to the market”, the DDC said adding that it is in this background the trails were got conducted through Agriculture Department during two consecutive years. The efforts bore fruits with a clear-cut indication that climatic conditions were conducive for its cultivation in these areas, he further added. Owing to increasing demand of saffron in food industry, the saffron is being imported from other countries presently, Khajuria said. He was optimistic that with the cultivation of this spice in the potential areas of the district, this demand would be catered to some extent Giving the detailed resume of the trial, the Chief Agriculture Officer, Udhampur, H.D. Sharma said that the trial has successfully resulted into the multiplication of daughter cormlets in second year which yielded healthy and sufficient quantity of flowers during October-November 2009 adding that Agriculture Department has also sought technical expertise from the experts of SKUAST Jammu regarding the other parameters of the crop. Success of the trial has resulted in great enthusiasm amongst the local farmers of the hilly areas to cultivate saffron and strengthen their belief that right initiative and correct efforts in this crop would help them to raise their economical status. MLA Chenani, Krishan Chander Bhagat also accompanied the DDC during the tour to these blocks of Udhampur district.