Lucrative integrated farming new attraction for Saffron cultivators
High returns of integrated farming have become another attraction for the cultivators of high end Saffron crop in this mountainous district of Kishtwar.
Together with the Saffron, a high-value commercial/export crop being grown in a few pockets, the farmers are undertaking mushroom cultivation, Bee Keeping, Protected Vegetable growing with special focus on local specialties for doubling the farm income.
The Agriculture Department is ensuring involvement of PRI members in selection of beneficiaries for better implementation of schemes and programmes at the gross root level.
The Department, with the help of field functionaries is also endeavoring to achieve 100% targets set for implementation of Kissan Credit Card Scheme (KCCS) and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna (PM-KISAN).
The department is motivating the farmers to follow integrated farming system. The farmers are being offered incentives and knowhow for mushroom cultivation, Bee Keeping, Protected Vegetable growing. A special focus is being laid on local specialties for doubling the farm income.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Kishtwar District as in the rest of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
The major crops grown in the district are maize, wheat, paddy and grain. A total of 25872 Hectares area of the District is under food and non food crops out of which 15186 Hectares area is under HYVS (High yielding variety seeds).
The cold climatic conditions suit the horticulture sector. The main fresh fruit produced in the district includes Apple, Apricot, Plum Pear and Peach and dry fruits produced include Walnut, Almond and Peanut. Kishtwar is also known as unique land of saffron.
While attending a meeting of Back to village-3, Abdul Qyoom, a resident of Block Marwah said that the farmers are pinning high hopes from the Saffron farm being developed by the Agriculture department in the district. He said the modern technique and research based interventions being used there is capable of producing high quality saffron. The success of technique would also benefit the private growers when it is taken to their farms, he hoped.
Kishtwar is the only district of saffron producing district in Jammu region.
Kishtwar saffron is very famous owing to its fine flavour, colour and medicinal value. For being a low volume and lucrative cash crop, Saffron is a very popular crop in the region.
The main marketing channels are brokers/local traders/cooperative societies etc. Villages namely Thakraie, Kuchhal, Kuchhan, Bunjwah, Inderwal/Chatru, Palmar, Trigam, Poochal, Dool, Padyarna, Na-gseni, Paddar (Ligri &Tata Pani) and some villages of Drabshala and Dachhan blocks are known for commercial cultivation of saffron in the district. About 202 hectares of land in the district is under the saffron cultivation, producing 5-6 quintals of saffron annually. It takes about 4, 50,000 stigmas or 1, 50,000 flowers to produce 1 kg of saffron spice.