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Kashmir saffron shows revival signs


Dec 24, 2006:

Srinagar– After going down to all time low in the year 2002, the famed Kashmir Saffron is showing signs of revival with the production going up by about 300 percent in the current year.

According to State’s agriculture minister Abdul Aziz Zargar “Saffron, the privileged crop of Kashmir which had dwindled from 175 quintals in 1996-97 to 36 quintals in 2001-02 has now shown an upward trend and 135 quintals production was recorded during 2005-06”.

Besides the increase in Saffron production, Kashmir has also witnessed a healthy growth in other agricultural sectors. While giving details Zargar further said total food grain production has increased from 13.33 lakh tonnes during 2002-03 to 18.25 lakh tonnes during 2005-06, similarly vegetable production also registered an increase from 5.20 lakh tonnes during 2002-03 to 9.25 lakh tonnes during 2005-06 and fruit production from 9.32 lac tonnes in 2000-01 to 13.31 lakh tones in 2005-06.

During the last few years government has been implementing scientific planning to boost the sagging agriculture sector of Kashmir, whose growth, according to experts has been impeded by the provisions of the Indus Water treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960’s. The treaty grants exclusive right to Pakistan for the use of state’s major rivers.

But despite the government efforts it is yet to overcome the deficit, which stands at 30% for food grains 20% for oil seeds and 50% for vegetable production.

Zargar gave the details while speaking at agricultural conference at New Delhi chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.-INF

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