Akarshak Saffron Institute
Saffron, which is also called as Red Gold, is known as health flower and one of the best spices and most valuable crop which has tremendous applications for flavoring, coloring for Nutritional, Pharmaceutical and Industrial uses. It is grown in the areas which have a specific climatic condition with cold winter and hot summer with specified high level of humidity during flowering stage.
Demand vs supply in India
With an estimated annual world production of 300 Tons, about 88% of saffron comes from Iran, while India being the second largest producer has a contribution of 7% of world production which makes it about 21 MT against a demand of above 60 MT per year, which makes a huge demand and supply gap, which for the time being is being fulfilled through imports. With an annual CAGR of 7% in India, and also big export potential, there is a tremendous opportunity for added cultivation in our country.
The Saffron plant has mainly four parts i.e. 1-Flower Petals, 2- Yellow Strands, 3- Red Strands and 4- Bulbs. All 4 parts are saleable at high pricing value.
Flower Petals and Yellow Strands are used in Medicines, especially the Ayurveda medicines, The red strands also called as Stigma are the real pure Saffron (Kesar) which has wide applications, this is also used in medicines, other than this used as additive in health boosters and foods including mild made sweets. This is used in Pooja (Worshiping) also. Selling price of pure red saffron can be obtained at Rs. 2.5 lacs to 5.0 lacs in retail selling.
Kashmiri Mogra Saffron
Kashmiri Mogra Saffron is one of the world’s most rare and exclusive spice, having diverse health benefits, also extensively used in cosmetic industry as well as flavoring spice. In retail export market it can be priced Rs. 3,00,00/- per KG. The yellow part, also called as Kesar Patti, sells at Rs. 20,000/- per KG used as flavoring spice in sweet industry. The flower petals can be sold at Rs. 10,000/- per KG with applications in Medicines. Saffron blubs, which get multiplied after planting in ground, are used for future germination, however surplus bulbs can also be sold at Rs. 200/- per KG.
Traditional Saffron cultivation in India
Presently, due to suitability in climate, almost 100% of produce in India is cultivated in Distt. Pampore, Kupwara, Kishtwar and Sonmarg of J&K state. In the year 1997 around 5700 hectares of land was being cultivated for saffron farming with a produce of 16 MT/year, but due to adverse climatic changes in the region the average land cultivation has come down to 3700 Hectare with a produce of 7 to 8 MT, this shortfall has resulted to a big gap in demand and supply.
Greenhouse farming of saffron
However, with the advancement of farming technologies, through artificially creating required climatic conditions in a Greenhouse (enclosed area with controlled and regulated climate), saffron can be cultivated in any part of the world with much better productivity and quality. All the climatic requirements like temperature, humidity and light radiations are provided through artificial equipment which are easily available in any part of the country.
Aeroponics is the most advanced and highly productive technique of multi-level indoor growing of saffron in a Greenhouse equipped with the desired infrastructure and facilities which enables a disease-free produce with accelerated growth rate. The bulbs (seeds) of saffron exposed to air, are laid-down in suitable wooden trays, the stage-wise defined climatic requirements i.e. temperature, humidity, light and airflow triggers germination of the seeds which ultimately results to propagating saffron flowers and red stigmas in a defined period.
Aeroponic farming technique is the best and proven technology for Greenhouse based indoor farming of Saffron as well as Mushrooms with tremendous advantage over soil based traditional faming as listed below:
Kashmir Visits for Saffron Cultivation Researching.
(Shere Kashmir Agricultural University, Srinagar)
The basic concepts especially for Green-house based growing of Saffron were further enriched after having made a no. of visits to Srinagar (Kashmir), wherein we got opportunities to interact deep into technical, climatic and horticultural aspects, with professionals at Advanced Research Station for Saffron, located at Pampore (Kashmir) which is Department of Sher-e-Kashmir University for Agricultural Science and Technology. and IIKSTC (India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Center) Srinagar.
Pics Below 👇👇
Visits to “Sher-e-Kashmir Agricultural University”, “Saffron Research & Development Center” and “India International Trading Center” Srinagar.