Kashmir saffron gets GI tag  

#GS3 #Economy  

The aromatic spice possesses medicinal properties  

  • Kashmir saffron, which is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir, has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry.   
  • The spice is grown in some regions of Kashmir, including Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar.  

Very precious’  

  • Iran is the largest producer of saffron and India is a close competitor.   
  • Kashmir saffron is a very precious and costly product.  
  • With the GI tag, Kashmir saffron would gain more prominence in the export market.  
  • Kashmir saffron is renowned globally as a spice.   
  • It rejuvenates health and is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.   
  • It has been associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.   
  • The unique characteristics of Kashmir saffron are its longer and thicker stigmas, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavour, chemical-free processing, and high quantity of crocin (colouring strength), safranal (flavour) and picrocrocin (bitterness).  
  • It is the only saffron in the world grown at an altitude of 1,600 m to 1,800 m AMSL (above mean sea level).  
  • The saffron available in Kashmir is of three types  
    • ‘Lachha Saffron’, with stigmas just separated from the flowers and dried without further processing;   
    • ‘Mongra Saffron’, in which stigmas are detached from the flower, dried in the sun and processed traditionally; and   
    • ‘Guchhi Saffron’, which is the same as Lachha, except that the latter’s dried stigmas are packed loosely in air-tight containers while the former has stigmas joined together in a bundle tied with a cloth thread.  
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