National Saffron Mission (NSM) 2020 | UPSC
Saffron bowl of India extends to the North East
WHY IN NEWS:
NECTAR undertakes a pilot project to explore feasibility of growing saffron in North East region
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Scheme : Agriculture
For PRELIMS well this is an old scheme in a revival mode . You should focus on location , objectives , importance of saffron , production practises etc.
For MAINS take a note of hurdles , policy measures and outcomes . Let us dive in !
NATIONAL SAFFRON MISSION
- Crocus Sativus (saffron) is a legendary spice of Kashmir.
- Over 30,000 farm operating families are dependent on Saffron cultivation.
- An area of 3715 hectares of saffron was proposed to be rejuvenated under the mission.
- However historians date its arrival prior to 500B.C attributing it to Persian invasion and colonisation of Kashmir.
- Jammu and Kashmir State had been under threat of extinction as is evident from its dwindling share in global production.
- Area under Saffron Production has declined from about 5707 hectares to 3715 hectares from in 2009-10 .
- Saffron cultivation is being persuade by more than 30000 families in J&K located in 226 villages.
- Jammu & Kashmir is the 2nd largest Saffron producing area in the world and is only state in the country where saffron is being cultivated.
- The production system previously followed in Jammu and Kashmir State was the main constraint responsible for the lower productivity of Saffron.
- Under which Saffron plants are left in the soil for two consecutive years, after which corms are removed from the field for fresh plantation‘ .
- Graded corms weighing above 8 gm are preferred for new plantations.
- Saffron is dried using toasters/electrical dryers/vacuum dryers, which enhances the quality of Saffron.
WHY SAFFRON MISSION?
- Low productivity of saffron (1.88 Kg/ha)
- Orthodox cultivation methods
- Poor plant stand
- Change in weather pattern over the years
- lssues of adulteration and admixture
OBJECTIVES OF SAFFRON MISSION
- Rejuvenation/replanting of existing Saffron area for improving productivity.
- lmproving soil health.
- Standardization of quality corm production in public nurseries
- Strengthening the irrigation system.
- Establishment of weather stations
- Infrastructure development
- Transfer of technologies
- Quality testing and marketing
- Enhancement of research and extension capabilities
- Delineation of package of practices for Saffron
- Dissemination of weather forecasts, market alerts, etc. through SMS
- Market intervention through e-trading and establishment of Electronic Auction
- Grading, packaging and branding.
- Rejuvenation/Replanting of existing saffron area for improving productivity (75% GOI SHARE)
- Support for creation of irrigation facilities. GOI SHARE 100% (Tube wells & their harnessing),
- Production of planting Material (Public Sector Nurseries) 100% GOI SHARE
- Enhancing product quality through improved post harvest handling 50% GOI SHARE
- Mechanization 50% GOI SHARE
- 16 public farms .GOI SHARE 100%
- Weather Station/etrading/spot exchange/Quality testing/and ISO certification 100% GOI SHARE
- Transfer of technologies and Human Resource Development (HRD)100% GOI SHARE
- Orthodox mind set of saffron growers have been swayed successfully and the saffron growers resorted to adopt scientific methodology .
- 10.88 T/ha organic manure is being applied to soil for promoting saffron crop production programme.
- Saffron growers recorded net increase in productivity from 1.800 Kgs/ha to 5.00 Kgs/ha in rejuvenated Saffron area under National Mission on Saffron.
WHAT IS SAFFRON PARK ?
- To enforce adoption of quality standards and fix the price based on Quality grades at farm gate level.
- To end the menace of spurious saffron and adulteration
- To carry out regular evaluation and certification of saffron
- To provide a common facilitation center for E- trading of Kashmir saffron.
- Weighing balance to weigh farmers produce.
- Main conveyor belt for carriage of produce from collection unit to stigma separation and cold storage unit.
- In case there is an excess of fresh saffron flowers it can be stored in cold room within plastic crates, each crate having a capacity of appx. 4 kg of fresh saffron flowers.
- Relative humidity to be maintained 90-95 %.
SAFFRON BOWL IN NORTH EAST
- The saffron bowl, which was so far confined to Kashmir, may soon expand to the North East of India.
- Plants from seeds transported from Kashmir to Sikkim and acclimatized there are now flowering in Yangyang in the Southern part of the North-East state.
- Saffron production has long been restricted to a limited geographical area in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
- It is the main contributor to saffron production, followed by Budgam, Srinagar, and Kishtiwar districts.
- Saffron has traditionally been associated with the famous Kashmiri cuisine.
- As saffron growing was confined to very specific areas in Kashmir, its production remained limited.
- Though the National Mission on Saffron focused on several measures to improve its farming, the measures were still limited to the specified areas of Kashmir.
- North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology.
- The Botany and Horticulture department of Sikkim Central University carried out tests to understand the soil and actual pH conditions of Yangyang of Sikkim.
- They found it comparable to saffron growing places of Kashmir.
- Saffron seed/corms were purchased and air transported from Kashmir to Yangyang site by the department.
- The project also focused on post-harvest management and value addition of saffron.
- Quality saffron drying and efficient post-harvest processing can improve saffron recovery, thereby improving its production.
- The matching of climatic and geographical conditions between Pampore (Kashmir) and Yangyang (Sikkim) led to the successful sample farming of Saffron in Yangyang.
- Also this will make better quality certified Saffron available to the consumers.
SOURCES: PIB | National Saffron Mission 2020 | UPSC