Srinagar, 03 November: Saffron cultivators throng to Pampore’s safron fields to hand pick the saffron threads this season.
The flower, which blooms for a week or two around early November, is plucked after the sun rises, and its three stamens – the saffron threads – carefully picked by hand and dried.
The spice is used extensively in medicines, beauty products and food preparations.
The labour-intensive process and the delicacy of the bloom make saffron the world’s most expensive spice, often compared in value to gold.
Family members of Saffron growers get involved in saffron harvest to collect the flowers from fields where the stigmas are separated by hand before they are dried.
Saffron cultivation largely depands on irrigation/rain. like previous years this year too has witnessed less rainfall which has caused havy demage to saffron.
“Previous Govt’ installed pipelines in the fields to cater the need of water during dry season but it’s has largely failed” Said Abdul Hamid a saffron caltivator
He added, this cultivation is largely vanishing because of Govt’s ill approach towards saffron growers.
Though Govt has established an industry for the betterment of saffron growers of valley and to produce quality saffron but caltivator’s go unhappy with its efforts.
“The industry established 4KM away from Pampore town is of no use to us, we have to carry our saffron flowers from the fields to industry to handpick saffron pattels and dry it out’. Mohd Sultan another saffron caltivator said.
Picking up the patels needs joint effort of family but it’s not possible for a single man to do so as we cannot effort our family members in the industry. He added.
Govt. Is not paying attention towards us during harsh weather we see fruit growers compensated but safron growers never get any compensations. Sultan said.
The saffron growers are hopeful for getting good prices in the markets this year,
They have requested administration to ban Iranian saffron import in india which will give boost to the price of Kashmiri Saffron in the country.