GI tagging of saffron will stop adulteration, fetch better prices: Dir Agri Kashmir

Srinagar, July 26 (KNS): Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Ajaz Andrabi today said the Geographical Indication Certification will stop the prevalent adulteration of Kashmir saffron besides authenticated saffron will fetch much better prices.

Speaking to KNS, he said, “Kashmir saffron was facing stiff competition from Iranian saffron.

“Now with the GI tag, Kashmir saffron will acquire more prominence in the export market and would help farmers get the best remunerative price. It will help us to create clean image of the brand,” he said

On being asked whether it will end adulteration of Kashmiri saffron, Andrabi said," With GI tag, all the saffron production will show geographic indication and organility of the produce. Those who will try for adulteration will be exposed."

According to the official data, the saffron land cultivation has also come down to 3,715 hectares in 2009-10 from 5,707 hectares in 1996. Besides, saffron yield has shown a sharp decline from 3.13 kg per hectare to 2.5 kg per hectare.

In a momentous decision few days ago GoI issued certificate of GI registration for the Saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley.

G. C. Murmu Lieutenant Governor called this first major step to put Saffron produced in the Kashmir Valley on the world map with authentication.

Lieutenant Governor while complimenting the Director Agriculture Kashmir for pursuing GI certification said that restoring the pristine glory of Kashmir saffron is top priority for both the Govt. of UT of J&K as well as GoI. He further said that with the completion and inauguration of State of Art Spice Park next month, these measures will prove to be the game changer for Kashmir Saffron.

Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to Government, Agricultural production Department said that GI certification establishes specific geographical origin and certifies certain unique qualities of the product.

"GI certification enables those who have the right to use sign in order to prevent third party using the sign. This GI certification would also stop the prevalent adulteration of Kashmir Saffron and thereby authenticated Saffron will fetch much better prices," he said.

Choudhary further informed that Kashmir Safrron is the only one in the world grown at an altitude of 1600 meters, which adds to its uniqueness and differentiate it from other saffron varieties due to its unique characteristics like longer and thicker stigma, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavor, chemical free processing and high quality colour strength, flavor and bitterness.

He also complimented Director Agriculture Kashmir, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi for vigorously pursuing for this certification. (KNS)

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