Srinagar, Feb 06: The Centre on Tuesday said that the production of saffron has declined by over 67 percent from 2010 to 2024, however, the production has increased marginally by 4 percent in the last year.
In reply to a question by National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi, the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Arjun Munde said as per the estimates provided by the Office of Financial Commissioner (Revenue) of Jammu & Kashmir, the production of saffron in Jammu and Kashmir has decreased from 8.0 MT in 2010-11 to 2.6 MT in 2023-24 (provisional), resulting in an overall decline in production by about 67.5% over the period. “However, during the last one year from 2022-23 to 2023-24, the saffron production has marginally increased by 4%.”
He said that as per the information received from the Planning and Agriculture Production Department of J&K, out of the 128 deep bore-wells sanctioned under the Mission, 123 have been constructed by the Horticulture Department and handed over to the Mechanical Engineering Department, Kashmir for their harnessing and further linkage with the Sprinkler irrigation Systems.
“The Mechanical Engineering Department, Kashmir has successfully connected 73 deep bore wells with the Sprinkler Irrigation Systems having a command of 2187.08 hectares. However, the irrigation facilities are not being utilized fully as the User Groups for management and upkeep of these bore wells have not been created as per the Mission Guidelines and have not been handed over to the farmer user groups,” he said.
He added that as per the information received from the Planning, Agriculture Production Department of UT of J&K, there has been no report of adverse effect on saffron flowers due to factors such as cement dust from any industrial establishments.
“The Agriculture Production Department along with the revenue authorities, UT of J&K are implementing the Saffron Act, Saffron rules and other revenue laws which safeguards the saffron land from being diverted for any other purposes,” he added.
“No high-level committee has been constituted by the Govt. of India to look into the declining condition of Saffron production. However, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. Of India has requested the UT Administration to conduct a detailed review of all the activities taken up under the National Saffron Mission in J&K to ensure the effective utilization of infrastructure and facilities created under the National Saffron Mission for the overall development of Saffron sector in Jammu & Kashmir,” he further said. —(KNO)