Srinagar: At a time when outdoor saffron in Kashmir is facing three major challenges—lack of irrigation facilities, conversion of saffron land and shortage of saffron corns, farmers in Kashmir’s Saffron bowl, Pampore are growing saffron indoors, which according to them has of late, shown positive results.
Majid Farooq, a grower from Shaar Shali area of Pampore while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that his family is the first who have started indoor cultivation in the area and results have been phenomenal and most important thing has been that indoor saffron has pure quality.
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Ab Majeed Wani, President of Saffron Growers Association of Kashmir told KNO that indoor saffron cultivation is a reality and it has been showing very positive results as of now and there remains zero impact of climate change, extensive rain or heat on indoor saffron.
He said that it will increase the saffron production, the demand can be easily met and even people who don’t have land can grow saffron in their homes.
Dr Bashir Ahmad Allaie, head of Advance Research Station for Saffron and Seed Spices, while talking to KNO said that as climate change has been affecting our every crop and like that it has started to put its impact on outdoor saffron and now we need irrigation for saffron which wasn’t earlier and indoor saffron under these circumstances can play vital role in meeting demand and supply.
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Since 2018 we have been working on this experiment and after two years we distributed it for demonstration among farmers, he said, adding that around 12 indoor saffron units have been started in homes of farmers and they are happy with the result.
Through the new multi-tier method, the corms are put in trays and they require around 100 days of darkness before the yield is harvested. “The process is started in August, the flowering begins between October 10 and 15, followed by harvesting in the month of November,” he said.
“Our aim is to accommodate more and more corn in room and get more yield,” he said, adding that corns are being uprooted in June and temperature, humidity and light play pivotal role in the yield and if farmer will take care these things very well, yield will more.
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