The Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh laid foundation stone of Rs 24. 54 crore prestigious Saffron Park Project at Dussu, Pampore today, an official statement said on Saturday.
The Saffron Park is being developed by the National Horticulture Board, Union Ministry of Agriculture under the National Saffron Mission started in the State in 2010. The period for completion of the Mission has been extended for 6 years during which an amount of Rs 400.11 crore will be spent on revival of saffron in Jammu and Kashmir under National Saffron Mission, the statement said.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Agriculture Minister said that Kashmir has the proud privilege of producing the finest quality saffron which is famous for its colour and flavour all over the world. He said that the union government is determined to provide all assistance to the saffron growers in producing the world’s No. 1 Saffron from Kashmir, adding that strengthening farming community is necessary for the development of the nation, the statement said.
Terming the Kashmir as the crown of India, the Union Minister said that the union Government will make all out efforts and provide assistance to develop the State.
Radha Mohan said that aim and objective of the Saffron Mission is to double the average production of Saffron from 2. 5 kgs per ha to over 5 kgs per ha by adopting appropriate technology, improving soil health and providing irrigation facility for the crop and to develop appropriate systems for organized marketing, quality-based pricing of Saffron and for formulating direct transactions between growers, traders, exporters and industrial agencies, it said.
The Union Minister said that Soil Health Cards will be provided to the farmers of the country in next 3 years so that they should not face any problem in producing quality productions from the cultivable land.
The Minister said that during the implementation of the Mission a large number of local youth will get employment opportunities which will surely change their socio- economic conditions, it added.
Referring to setting up of Horticulture University in Jammu and Kashmir State, the Union Minister asked the State government to submit a detailed proposal to the concerned Union Ministry for appropriate action.