Pulwama, Jul 1: Additional Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Government of India, Vivek Agarwal started his five days visit to Valley by visiting State of an Art Laboratory Cum e-auction platform for Saffron, at India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre(IIKSTC) Dussoo Pampore.
Additional Secretary inspected various facilities at the centre which included Stigma Separation, Cold Storage Unit, Hi-tech Quality Control Lab, Drying Section, Packaging Section and e-auctioning platform. He was briefed by Director Agriculture Kashmir about various facilities for preserving, grading, marketing of saffron.
During the visit of e-auctioning centre, he was apprised by Director Agriculture that the e-auctioning provides a sufficient platform to the saffron growers for getting optimum returns of their yield which ultimately boost the economy of the area.
Vivek Agrawal said that IIKSTC establishment will play as a game changer in reviewing the traditional saffron sector. He complimented the Department for achieving NABL accreditation and GI for Kashmir Saffron and added that it will go a long way in promoting the saffron trade as buyers will get assurance regarding the quality of produce.
He said that the establishment of IIKSTC shows the commitment of Government of India to restore the pristine glory of saffron. He said growers of Valley and buyers across India should utilize the services of this Hi- tech facility to earn more profit of their produce and that too from their door step.
Later Additional Secretary held a detailed interactive session with the progressive saffron growers of the area and assured them that GoI will provide all sorts of assistance and support in uplifting the saffron sector.
On the occasion, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal gave a detailed overview of the functioning and services provided by IIKSTC to the Saffron growers. He also highlighted the importance of ambitious National Saffron Mission. He said that the centre has introduced e-auctioning platform for the saffron growers where they could trade virtually on national as well as international platforms.
During the visit Director General Horticulture, Joint Director Agriculture Extension Kashmir M. Qasim Gani senior officers of the Department were also present on the occasion.
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