Tuesday, 14 September 2021 | PNS | Bageshwar
Saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world, will now be cultivated in each of the 11 blocks of Almora district. The Horticulture department has procured five quintals of saffron bulbs from Kashmir for plantation in the district. Initially, the department had facilitated saffron cultivation in three blocks as an experiment. After the successful experiment of saffron cultivation in three blocks started as a trial last year, the department has intensified its efforts to facilitate saffron cultivation in every block of the district.
Departmental officials said that as the experiment of saffron cultivation in three blocks has been successful, farmers across the district will also be motivated for commercial cultivation of saffron.Saffron was being cultivated in Tadikhet, Hawalbagh and Lamgada blocks of Almora district. Last year, the exercise of saffron production was started in these blocks as a trial with eight farmers being associated with saffron cultivation. Extending saffron farming to all blocks of the district will also help augment the income of farmers considerably as it is one of the most expensive spices. It fetches a price of about Rs three lakh per kilogramme.
Saffron is used to add color and flavour to food items apart from also being used for medicinal purposes. The botanical name of saffron is crocus sativus and it is a small plant of the Iridaceae family native to south Europe. This member of the Iris family is found in about 80 sub-species in different parts of the world. The Almora chief horticulture officer TN Pandey said, “Saffron was cultivated successfully in three blocks of the district last year on a trial basis. After successful saffron production, this time preparations have been made for saffron production in every block of the district. We are aiming to facilitate planting of the bulbs within this month itself.”