Saffron yield down by 50%: Growers

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 1: As the final phase of Saffron harvesting is about to conclude, the growers in Pampore area of South Kashmir say that this year the yield has been very low.
Several growers told Excelsior that from last year – when floods created havoc across the Valley – there is ‘steep decline’ in the yield of world famed Kashmiri Saffron. “Last year, the floods created havoc and destroyed our Saffron. This year, the incessant rains that started in February and continued intermittently throughout the year have proved hazardous for the crop,” said Abdul Rashid, a grower.
Rashid said the situation is alarming as growers are suffering heavy losses. “We think we won’t be able recover the amount we spent on labourers. We apprehend huge losses”, he added.
The Saffron growers said that prior to 2014 floods; the yield was 17 tones of the Saffron. “But we don’t think that it would be even 8 to 10 tones this time,” they said. Last time, the growers had sold one kilogram saffron for 1.5 lakh.
Rasheed said not only in Pampore, the growth of Saffron is also on decline in the fields managed by Sher-e-Kashmir Agricultural University of Science and Technology (SKAUST).
Now, as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Valley on November 7 and announce financial package, the growers are hopeful that the Government would also compensate their losses that they suffered during 2014 floods.
“Soon after the floods, we were told that our 50 percent losses would be compensated. But then nothing was done. Now, we are hopeful that that those losses would be compensated as PM Modi is likely to announce the package,” the growers said. Besides, the growers have also sought insurance of their crop.


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