GDC Baramulla holds saffron fest

Baramulla, Nov 4: Government Degree College Baramulla, as part of its continuing successful attempt towards saffron cultivation, celebrated the Saffron Festival on its premises on Saturday.

The event showcased the prospects of saffron cultivation across north Kashmir, particularly in Baramulla district. The event featured the harvesting of saffron flowers and the separation of their stigma.

In 2018, Government Degree College Baramulla initiated the project, “Prospects of Saffron Cultivation in Baramulla,” which was subsequently approved and funded by the University Grants Commission in New Delhi and supported financially by the JK Science Technology and Innovation Council, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

The event was graced by the presence of Chief Agriculture Officer Y Sassan, Dr Ghulam Hassan Zargar, former Director of Research at SKUAST. One of the significant achievements highlighted during the festival was the successful cultivation and harvesting of saffron flowers.

On this occasion the speakers highlighted the importance of the saffron cultivation which has tremendous economic dividends for the farmers across the Baramulla district. They said that although the Pampore area of Kashmir is famous for saffron cultivation, however, with the experiment of saffron cultivation at a small piece of land within the premises of the college it showed that it can be cultivated even in other parts of Kashmir with some suitable conditions.

“The Kareva area is suitable for its cultivation,” said Professor Abdul Majeed Chalkoo. He said, “Chemical analysis of the saffron crop from the previous year revealed that important chemical constituents were present in significant quantities. While this year the corm size, stigma length, and weight of saffron were all adequate, despite challenges posed by rodent infestations, which were successfully managed through timely intervention and the adoption of scientific methods,” said Professor Abdul Majeed Chalkoo, the project investigator.

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The speakers at the event expressed their gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology, and IC (DST) for their financial support. Additionally, the festival provided an excellent opportunity to impart experiential learning and hands-on training to the college students involved in the project.

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