A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SAFFRON AGRONOMY AND PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF KHORASAN (IRAN) AND KASHMIR (INDIA)
Saffron (Crocus sativus), a perennial herb, well-known for its aroma and used for flavouring, is a culinary delight. Iran is the largest producer of saffron accounting for more than 65% of the global saffron production, while India, which produces 7.0 t, ranks third after Spain. As soil and weather conditions vary from country to country, a survey was conducted to find out the similarities and differences in the methods of production of saffron in Khorasan and Kashmir, which is also known as Small-Iran (Iran-e-saghir), so that the farmers of the two countries could benefit from each others experiences. The basic climatic differences in the two regions are humidity, altitude and rainfall. However, the main similarity between the two regions is the low temperature, which could play a crucial role in growing saffron. Saffron production in Khorasan is completely dependent on irrigation, while in Kashmir it is rainfed. The time of planting and harvesting are similar in the two regions, however, in Khorasan the rate of corm sowing is more frequent and the planting depth is much higher than in Kashmir. Khorasani farmers believe that during harvesting, the flowers should be picked up daily early in the morning (before sunrise), because the flowers are short lived; however, Kashmiri farmers not only pick up the flowers in early hours of the morning, but they do so once in four days. The area under cultivation and production of saffron is increasing in Khorasan while in Kashmir it is on decline. The price of Kashmiri saffron is much higher than Iranian saffron. No documented differences could be found between saffron of Khorasan and Kashmir, except the shorter style along with stigma in Kashmiri saffron.
Kafi, M. and Showket, T. (2007). A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SAFFRON AGRONOMY AND PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF KHORASAN (IRAN) AND KASHMIR (INDIA). Acta Hortic. 739, 123-132
Crocus sativus, flower picking, India, Iran, irrigation, quality