New Delhi: J&K is one of the largest producers of one of the most expensive spices in the world, Saffron. But the industry has been going through a rather rough patch over the past few years.
Since abrogation of Article 370 and the Centre redirecting it’s focus to enhance the industries in the J&K, there has been a massive industrial boost for Saffron producers with the current export value of Saffron from India standing at a whopping 1.72 Million USD (as per govt data).
INDIA: THE SAFFRON PRODUCER
India currently produces 4-5 tonnes of Saffron annually. 85% of the produce comes from Pulwama district of J&K. The rest comes from different regions of the UT.
Saffron is a labour intensive crop which requires 1,40,000 flowers to produce just 1 kg of dried saffron.
The major export destinations for Indian saffron are UK, USA, UAE, Australia amongst other countries.
In 2018-2019, India’s saffron export value stood at .95 Million USD. In 2019-2020, India was exporting 38.08 MT of saffron as compared to 27.24 MT in 2018-2019
And In 2020-2021, India’s export value shot up to 1.72 Million USD from .92 Million USD the previous year.
The GoI has established the Saffron Production and Export Development Agency (SPEDA) at Srinagar to develop, market and improve quality of saffron produced.
Kashmir Saffron was also awarded the GI (Geographical Indication) tag in 2020 and the E-auction has given a platform for saffron producers to see their produce world over.