PM Modi –The brand ambassador of Kashmir Pashmina, saffron

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SRINAGAR:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the biggest brand ambassador of Kashmir Pashmina and saffron.

PM Modi gifted a Pashmina stole and saffron to Microsoft founder Bill Gates who called on him. “This is Kashmir Pashmina which is very popular. This is Kashmir saffron. Farmers do all sorts of value addition. It is exported across the globe,” he told Gates.

PM Modi said he always promotes local products whenever he goes abroad and people feel proud of it. “I have launched a movement called `Vocal for Local’. There is also `One District, One Product’. I promote it across. Whenever I go abroad and have to do something, I use local products from a particular district. People of that district feel proud of it,” he said.

In 2022, famed Pashmina shawls were gifted to thousands of VIP guests during the recently concluded FIFA  World Cup in Qatar.

Pashmina is among seven major crafts which have been granted GI tags. Other crafts include Kani Shawl, Pashmina, Sozni, Paper-Machie, Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband, and Hand Knotted Carpets have already been GI certified.

 For the first time,  21392 handicrafts products were Geographical Indication (GI) tagged in the first three-quarters of FY24.  Official figures reveal that 21392 products have been labeled from April to December 31, 2023. In the entire 2022-23, 12904 products were GI  tagged. Likewise, 6,164 products were GI tagged in 2012-22.

Official figures reveal Kashmiri shawls account for 40 percent of total handicraft exports from Kashmir. 

GI contains a Secure Fusion Authentication Label (SFAL) which is a unique eight-digit Alpha Numerical Code. It contains invisible nano-tangent particles that can be seen only by infrared light.

. GI was granted to saffron in 2020 and since then the farmers have been harvesting good returns. A kilogram of saffron is sold at Rs three lakh against Rs 1.5 lakh or less three years before. Saffron now directly goes to Dubai and in the future, it will hit other countries as well.