New Delhi: NECTAR (North East Center For Technology Application And Reach) undertook a pilot project to analyse the possibility of growing saffron in the North East region. The similarity of climate and geographical condition between Pampore (Kashmir) and Yangyang (Sikkim) leads to a success of saffron farming plants in Sikkim.
The National Mission on Saffron focuses on several measures to uplift the condition of Saffron farming.
Saffron has long been restricted to a limited area of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Saffron Bowl of Kashmir, Pampore, is the only contributor of saffron production followed by Budgam, Srinagar and Kishtiwar districts.
Saffron is popularly attached to Kashmiri cuisines and its medicinal values are considered to be a part of their rich cultural heritage.
The Botany and Horticulture department of Sikkim Central University carried out tests on Sikkim's soil to understand the Ph conditions of Yangyang and found it favourable for Saffron production. Saffron flower/seeds were purchased and air transported from Kashmir to Yangyang and engaged to look after the growing process.
This project also focused on post-harvest management and value addition of saffron to assure the that post-drying, the recovery of the flower is possible.
Further possible value addition is planned for immediate results and extrapolation of the project to other parts of North East region along with Micro Food Enterprises.