Ziraat Times Team Report
Srinagar: Close on the heels of the provision of Geographical Indicator (GI) certification for Kashmir Saffron, agriculture stakeholders, including those who have been involved in agriculture policy making at the highest level in J&K, are pitching for the idea of certification for other unique and organic agriculture products from Kashmir, which come with certain distict geographical and chemical characteristics.
Khurshid Ahmed A. Ganai (Retired IAS officer of J& K Cadre) who also served as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), J&K and Advisor to the Governor, J&K, while welcoming Lt. Governor G.C. Murmu’ s recent direction to the officials to promote organic farming in J&K, has said that this emphasis on organic farming coming after the GI certification of Kashmir Saffron “can help obtain GI certification for many more wonderful varieties of vegetables and fruits from Kashmir”.
“For example, Kashmiri or Koshur Haak, Mirch, Palak, Sochhal, Nunar, Nadru, Water nuts and a few other vegetable varieties which agriculture experts from the university would be able to identify as Kashmiri or Koshur based on the antiquity and purity of the seed being grown in Kashmir by the local farmers”, Mr Khurshid told Ziraat Times.
“Mushka budaj rice is an example that comes to mind immediately. Kashmir Walnut is already organic and fit for GI certification on the pattern of Kashmir Saffron”, he further added.
Noting that this idea of organic farming and proper marketing of the organic and GI certified produce, preferably outside Kashmir, will certainly bring more income and prosperity to thousands of growers in Kashmir, Mr Khurshid told Ziraat Times that the animal and sheep husbandry farmers will, simultaneously, need to be incentivised to produce organic manure and sell the same to the growers of organic crops to create a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
“All this holds great promise for all the stakeholders in the value chain”, he added.
Pertinetly, stakeholders are pitching also for GI tag for Kashmir lavender, which comes with distinct characteristics and is known the world over as a produce of unique aroma and medicinal properties.