In the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a broader market awareness-cum-public-private engagement interaction was organized by Kashmir division’s Agriculture Department with agri-entrepreneurs, branding experts, market linkage specialists and other members of civil society and saffron farmers at the India International Kashmir Saffron Trade Centre (IIKSTC), Pampore.
The main objective of conducting the interactive program was to acquaint the key business, market linkage experts and branding specialists regarding the various facilities created at the center towards maximizing benefit to saffron farmers.
The team visited various sections of the IIKTC and were briefed by Kashmir’s agriculture director about various facilities for preserving, grading, processing and marketing of Kashmir saffron.
Later, a detailed interaction session with the members of visiting delegation was held, wherein questions and views by the delegation were shared and addressed.
Kashmir’s agriculture director said that Kashmir Saffron Trade Centre was the only trading hub for saffron in the country and the Asian sub-continent, and the facilities being provided to the saffron growers at the center are expected to provide cutting-edge technology to revive Saffron industry in Kashmir.
“IIKSTC establishment will provide an efficient platform to the saffron growers for getting optimum returns of their yield,” he said.
“This center will boost the economy of this area as Kashmir saffron will be graded and exported to various countries from this platform only. It will be sealed and certified here, which will be a trademark for Kashmiri saffron,” he added.
In 2010, the government of India sanctioned the National Saffron Mission Project worth Rs 400 crore for the revival of saffron crop in J&K and setting up of IIKSTC is one of the important components of the mission.
The participants emphasized on strengthening public-private linkages and engagement for promoting Kashmir Saffron, strengthening the production side, and also going for a rigorous marketing campaign for promoting the authentic and high-quality Kashmir saffron through IIKTC.
The visiting team assured the Agriculture Department of their full support in promoting Kashmir Saffron and providing wider publicity within the country and abroad for reinvigorating the saffron sector in Kashmir.