On May 1, 2020 After chak-hao, the black rice of Manipur, Gorakhpur terracotta & Kovilpatti kadalai-mittai, the Kashmir saffron cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir gets Geographical Indication(GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry.Application filing
The Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and is facilitated by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, Kashmir, and Saffron Research Station, Dussu (Pampore).
It is the only saffron in the world grown at an altitude of 1,600 metre(m) to 1,800 m Above Mean Sea Level(AMSL), which differentiates from other saffron varieties available around the world. Iran is the largest producer of saffron and India is a close competitor.
i.It has long & thick stigmas, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavour, chemical-free processing, and high quantity of crocin (colouring strength), safranal (flavour) and picrocrocin (bitterness).
ii.It is a globally renowned spice, rejuvenates health, used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes, associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.
It is a spice grown in some regions of Kashmir, including Pulwama(saffron bowl of Kashmir), Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar. Iran is the largest producer of saffron and India is a close competitor
Types of saffron in Kashmir
i.Lachha Saffron- Stigmas are separated from the flowers and dried without further processing
ii.Mongra Saffron- Stigmas are detached from the flower, dried in the sun and processed traditionally(packed loosely in air-tight containers)
iii.Guchhi Saffron- It is like Lachha but has stigmas joined together in a bundle with a cloth thread.
About GI tag:
In India, GI registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. Darjeeling Tea(2004) is the 1st indian product to get a GI tag.
Other Indian products with GI tag– Tirupati Laddu, Madhubani Paintings, Nagpur Orange, Kashmir Pashmina, Rajasthani Kathputlis, and Lucknow Chikan Crafts among others.