Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir today organised a saffron festival in the karewa of Pampore.The festival was organised in collaboration with the Agriculture Department, SKUAST Kashmir, Cooperative Societies and local saffron growers.
Speaking on the occasion, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole who was Chief Guest on the occasion said Kashmiri saffron is popular all over the world and we all need to work together to maintain its reputation.
He said the government has introduced several measures to boost saffron production through technological interventions, technological support and irrigation facilities.The Div Com said that farmers need to take benefit of the technological interventions and make use of the better irrigation facilities and GI certification for better returns.
He also exhorted the farmers that they should not use the karewa land for any other purpose as this land produces the world's best saffron. He said that the tourists have added to the economy of the locals as the tourists are experiencing the landscape of the saffron fields.
He further said that GI tagging has opened new windows for Kashmir saffron and the government is endeavoring to ensure that all the globally accepted quality parameters are met during the cultivation and post harvest management of the saffron.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Baseer-ul-Haq Chaudhary while speaking on the occasion said that the government is committed to bring the saffron on the tourism map of Kashmir and said that wetlands and saffron are an interconnected economy to the local populace of Pampore.
He appreciated the Tourism Department for organising the festival thereby creating an interface between tourists and the local Saffron growers.He thanked all the stakeholders for their support and cooperation and said that more such festivals will be organised on a larger scale.
He said that the participation of locals is a sign of better things to come.Director Tourism Kashmir Faz Lul Haseeb also spoke on the occasion and said that more festivals will be organised to involve more and more locals for the promotion of saffron so that the concerned growers' economic interests are secured at all levels.
He said the aim of holding a festival at Pampore was to celebrate the uniqueness of the place and the pride saffron cultivation has brought to Kashmir.Director, Agriculture Kashmir Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal, saffron growers, representatives of various travel trade bodies and other stakeholders were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the festival witnessed many cultural events and activities, folk dances, music performances. A skit by a young artist on Nasha Mukta Abhiyan won accolades from the audience.