bringing the valley’s brand on the global map with authentication. he J&K administration issued the certificate of geographical indication (GI) registration for saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley. It was termed a historic step in Kashmir saffron will acquire more prominence in the export market and it would help farmers get the best remunerative price.
GI Tag for Kashmir Saffron
Kashmir saffron is the only saffron in the world that is grown at an altitude of 1,600 meters which adds to its unique characteristics like longer and thicket stigma, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavour, chemical free processing and high quality colour strength, flavour and bitterness.
Further, sprinkler irrigation system saffron fields are being installed on a war footing. With the completion of the sprinkler irrigation system and inauguration of Spice Park, the population associated with saffron will witness a change from its production to marketing. The GI certification would also stop adulteration prevalent in the trade of Kashmir saffron.
However, according to an official data, the saffron land cultivation has also come down to 3,715 hectares in 2009-10 from 5,707 hectares in 1996. Besides, saffron yield has shown a sharp decline from 3.13 kg per hectare to 2.5 kg per hectare. Kashmir saffron faces stiff competition from Iranian saffron, which has captured over 90% share of the world market.
A geographical indication or GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Geographical Indications are part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999. Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.