Why India's saffron growers foresee a worrying future

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Despite a relatively good crop of saffron last year, overall saffron production in Kashmir has been on a decline for years now. Unpredictable rainfall and dry weather due to climate change have played havoc with the production of saffron in Kashmir. The Valley may lose one of its most precious spices for which it is known across the world. Cultivated and harvested in Pampore township of south Kashmir, more than 30,000 families are associated with saffron farming.

Through the National Saffron Mission, the government introduced the Sprinkle irrigation technique a few years ago but the pumps installed could not last long. High-grade Kashmiri saffron has been also hit by adulteration & currently a less expensive Iranian variety is also sold in the valley.

In this podcast, journalist Irfan Amin Malik reports from Pampore town in Kashmir valley on dwindling saffron production.

Additional reading:

India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC)
Government PPT on the decline in saffron production
Kashmir turning saffron! Kesar spice yield at a 10-year high in Valley
National Saffron Mission

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