Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday called for making Kashmir saffron a globally popular brand.
Addressing the country through 72nd edition of his monthly radio programme and the last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ of the year 2020, the Prime Minister talked in length about Kashmir saffron and how the Geographical Indication Tag to the famed spice from the valley has given it a “new identity”.
“In May this year, Kashmiri saffron was given the Geographical Indication Tag or GI tag. Through this, we want to make it a globally popular brand,” PM Modi said.
In May, famed Kashmiri saffron was granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag, symbolizing its exclusivity in the international market.
Kashmiri saffron is of superior quality because of the higher concentration of crocin, a carotenoid pigment that gives saffron its colour and medicinal value: Its crocin content is 8.72% compared to the Iranian variant’s 6.82%, which gives it a darker colour and enhanced medicinal value.
“It is being said that Abul Fazl, a famous courtier in emperor Akbar’s darbar, after returning from Kashmir, said that there is such a scenic sight in the valley which would delight even the most angry and irate people. He (Abul Fazl) was talking about the famed saffron fields of Kashmir,” said PM Modi.
Kashmiri Kesar, he said, is renowned internationally as it has many medicinal properties.
“It is very aromatic, rich in colours and has long, thick strands. Kesar represents the rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. If we talk about the quality, then Kashmir saffron is unique and is entirely different from saffron of other countries,” PM Modi said.
He said that Kashmir saffron has got a “different identity after the GI tag”.
Kashmiri saffron, he added, was launched in a supermarket in Dubai.
“Now its export will increase. It will further strengthen our efforts to make a self-reliant India,” he said.
Modi also talked about one saffron farmer Abdul Majid Wani from Shar area of Tral.
Wani, the PM said, is selling his GI tagged saffron with national saffron mission through e-trading at Pampore trading centre.
“Like him, many people in Kashmir are engaged in this activity. Warmth of Kashmiri people is such that it lends a distinct taste saffron,” the PM added.