Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary today visited India International Kashmir Saffron Trade Centre (IIKSTC) at Dussu Pampore and inspected the functioning of the unit here.
Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, Joint Director Agriculture Extension Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal and other officers of the department accompanied the Principal Secretary.
Principal Secretary visited different sections of IIKSTC and was briefed by the Director Agriculture about various facilities available there for preserving, grading, processing and marketing of saffron. He also had a detailed interaction session with the officers of the centre.
He said that this Center is one of the best in Asian sub continent which is all set to provide Cutting-edge technology to revive Saffron industry in the region. He directed the officers to organize training and awareness camps among the saffron growers at IIKSTC so that they are fully acquainted with the latest market trends at the national and international level.
During interaction with the representatives of Saffron growers, Principal Secretary assured them that all their demands and issues would be addressed at an earliest.
“This IIKSTC establishment will prove to be a game changer in reviving the traditional Saffron sector in the Valley as this will ensure that the saffron produced here is sold, graded and imported to various countries in a total transparent and hassle free manner. Saffron will be sealed and certified here, which will be a trademark for Kashmiri saffron.”, the Principal secretary asserted.
Director Agriculture assured that every possible support and technical expertise will be provided to the saffron growers by the department of agriculture.
Pertinently, National Saffron Mission Project worth Rs. 400 crore has been sanctioned by the Government of India for revival of Saffron crop in J&K, which was started in the year 2010 and setting up of IIKSTC is one of the important components of this Mission.