Promotion of saffron in kitchen gardens
Myth that saffron can be cultivated only in Pampore area of Kashmir valley proved baseless when saffron was successfully cultivated in Tehsil Chadora of district Budgam. Literature suggests that saffron can be grown under temperate conditions of Kashmir provided water logging is prevented. About 10% of vegetable area (3000 ha) in Kashmir is under kitchen gardens with an average holding size ranging from 1-4 marlas (25-100 m2). Every family on an average requires 3-15 g of saffron annually to enjoy specialties like saffron tea (Kehwa) on special occasions like Eid, marriages and other festivals that can be produced from 5 to 10 m2. Saffron if cultivated over 5 m2 in kitchen garden can yield 4 g lacha saffron with 480 pistils that will be sufficient for saffron therapy of one person with 1 pistil every day with milk. Studies reveal that introduction of saffron in kitchen gardens would not only be beneficial but also a novelty. It has been observed that saffron grows well when surrounded by garlic as this is beneficial for control of mites which are predisposing agents for saffron corm rot. At least 1/5 of kitchen garden can be kept for saffron cultivation. Introduction of saffron in kitchen gardens over an area of 600 ha will produce 4.2 t lacha saffron with a return of Rs. 630,000,000 as compared to Rs. 600,000,000 achieved under kitchen garden.
Afroza, B. and Khan, S.H. (2018). Promotion of saffron in kitchen gardens. Acta Hortic. 1200, 187-192
saffron, vegetable, kitchen garden, economics