Srinagar: Kashmiri Saffron, famous for its fine quality around the world, is set to register an increase of 10 per cent in the yield this year due to the National Saffron Mission (NSM) scheme introduced by the Centre.
"We are hopeful of an increased yield of 11 metric tonnes this year as against 10 metric tonnes the previous year," Chief Agricultural Officer, Pulwama and nodal officer NSM G H Guroo said.
Guroo said the department was earlier expecting an 20 per cent increase in the saffron production this year but "physiological disorder" in August had an impact on the `golden crop`, leading to the decreased yield.
"We were expecting the yield to cross 12 metric tonnes but there was a physiological disorder in August...There was unfavourable weather as a result of which we could not achieve the expected target," he said.
Pampore township of Pulwama district is the largest producer of saffron in the country with 80 per cent of area under the cultivation of the crop and is referred to as `Golden Bowl` of Kashmir.
Guroo attributed the increase in the saffron production to the Central government`s ambitious National Saffron Mission, launched in 2010 under which Rs 373 crore was earmarked to be spent on the development and improvement of the crop till 2014.
"As much as 1800 hectares of land have been brought under the scheme in Pampore alone and an amount of Rs 47 crore have been spent to rejuvenate the fields to increase the production," he said.