Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday asked the state administration to carry out an assessment of damage and losses to saffron growers in Pampore due to the untimely snowfall which has devastated the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors of the valley.
In a statement constituency Incharge, Pampore Yawar Masoodi said that a large part of the saffron crop was yet to bloom and due to the snowfall the chances of any further bloom are very less.
“The saffron growers have suffered huge losses due to early snowfall and the administration needs to take the losses into account and compensate the saffron growers accordingly,” he said.
He further stated that the measures for increasing the saffron production under National Saffron Mission of Union Ministry of Agriculture are not being implemented properly and particularly the sprinkle irrigation system has failed the growers miserably.
“There are large scale misappropriations in the functioning of the National Saffron Mission and the Hon’ble Governor should initiate an inquiry into the functioning of the Mission,” he said.
Yawar further stated that in 2014 the Prime Minister announced the establishment of Saffron Production and Export Development Agency (SPEDA) under the Spice Board of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry but till date, the agency has not started functioning even after a lapse of four years.
He further asked the authorities to take necessary measures to control and stop the conversion of saffron growing land for other purposes including construction of houses and commercial establishments.