In India, Kashmir has a geographic location and rich cultural background for excellent Saffron cultivation. Saffron from India - Jammu and Kashmir - is famous for its high quality due to high colouring strength, its aroma and bitterness.
In Kashmir, the cultivated population of Saffron is Crocus sativus “Cashmirianus”, is recognized by its extremely dark maroon-purple hue, and is among the Worlds darkest, suggesting the strong flavour and colourative effects; and therefore Kashmir Saffron is the best Saffron to buy.
Each Saffron flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and the flowering of Saffron is just for about a fortnight (10 to 15 days) each year. Also, flower emergence in saffron is very sensitive to external conditions and is highly influenced by factors such as temperature, radiation, nutrients and water availability. It is interesting to know that optimal temperature for flower formation is in the range 23 to 25 degree Celsius and at this temperature, the rate of flowers initiation is highest, and the number of flowers initiated is maximal. Likewise, several other environmental conditions are very essential to grow Saffron, and Kashmir has all those suitable conditions to grow Saffron.
Apart from the climatic and external factors, Saffron must be harvested by hand!
Generally, the harvesting of flowers is done early, or mid-morning so that the flowers don’t open fully and the bright red stigmas remain protected. This is a very delicate and hugely laborious endeavour, and this is what makes the price of 1 kg Best Quality Saffron in India about ₹2,00,000 or more - and when it is in grams and for the best quality, the cost of Saffron in India varies from ₹300 to ₹400 per gram.
Saffron production is however confined to a limited geographical area in Kashmir. Saffron has as a part of a long-established custom been associated with the famous Kashmiri cuisine (Wazwan, and Kashmiri Kahwa), its medicinal values and with the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir - its use in important religious rituals is widely well known. However, Saffron production is currently suffering on several counts, especially those relating to productivity as well as post-harvest management.
Saffron cultivation in Kashmir is under threat of extinction. This is evident from its dwindling share in global production. The area under Saffron cultivation has declined from about 5,707 hectares in 1996 to just 3,715 hectares in 2009-2010. Productivity (i.e. the quantity of Saffron produced per hectare) has also declined from 3.13 kg per hectare to 2.50 kg per hectare in the last few years.
In response to this, the Government of India has set up a National Saffron Mission (NSM) for a cost of ₹400 crores to increase the yield to around 5 kilograms Saffron per hectare - from the present yield of less than 1 kilogram per hectare - thus enhancing the production to about 18.5 Metric Tonnes. Further, Quality Saffron drying and efficient post-harvest processing as part of NSM is likely to improve Saffron recovery by 27%, thereby, improving Saffron production by further 5 Metric Tonnes.
At ABK we have a network of quality farmers, and clearly defined Saffron-land from where we have been procuring our Saffron since our start in 1972, and we process and pack the product with great care and caution only to ensure that you buy best Saffron Online in India at ABK Online store!