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 ‘Govt committed to restore the pristine glory of saffron’

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Pulwama: Government is committed to restore the glory of Kashmir saffron, Additional Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Vivek Agarwal said Thursday as he began his five day trip to the Valley by visiting India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC) Dussoo, Pampore.

Agarwal inspected various facilities at the centre which included stigma separation, cold storage unit, hi-tech quality control lab, drying section, packaging section and e-auctioning platform. He was briefed by Director Agriculture Kashmir about various facilities for preserving, grading, and marketing of saffron.

According to an official press release, during the visit of e-auctioning centre, he was told that the e-auctioning provides a sufficient platform to the saffron growers to get optimum returns of their yield which ultimately boosts the economy of the area.

Agrawal also said that establishment of IIKSTC will be a game-changer in reviewing the traditional saffron sector. He complimented the department for achieving NABL accreditation and GI for Kashmir saffron and added that it will go a long way in promoting the saffron trade as buyers will get assurance regarding the quality of produce.

He said that the establishment of IIKSTC shows the commitment of Government of India to restore the pristine glory of saffron. He said growers of Valley and buyers across India should utilize the services of this facility to earn more profits on their produce and that too at their doorsteps.

Later Additional Secretary held an interactive session with the progressive saffron growers of the area and assured them that GoI will provide all sorts of assistance and support in uplifting the saffron sector.

On the occasion, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal gave a detailed overview of the functioning and services provided by IIKSTC to the saffron growers. He also highlighted the importance of ambitious National Saffron Mission. He said that the centre has introduced e-auctioning platform for the saffron growers where they could trade virtually on national as well as international platforms.

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