Context: Pampore, known as the centre of the country’s saffron (referred to as “red gold”) cultivation has seen a decline in productivity.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food
The main issues impacting saffron production in Pampore are:
- Climate change
- Erratic rainfall patterns
- Higher temperatures
- Expansion of urban areas onto saffron fields
- Insufficient investment in irrigation and farmer training, contribute to the challenges faced by saffron cultivation
Iran, India, Spain and Greece are the major saffron-producing countries with Iran occupying the maximum area and contributing about 88% of the world’s saffron production. Though, India occupies the 2nd largest area but produces approximately 7 per cent of the total world production.