Guwahati: Sikkim is expected to scale up the production of saffron in the state with support from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The pilot phase of saffron cultivation in various identified pockets of Sikkim has given positive results and the saffron mission is now expected to flourish further under the collaborative efforts of Sikkim University, Horticulture Department and Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of J&K. 

A tripartite agreement on saffron cultivation in Sikkim is scheduled to be signed between the Horticulture Department Government of Sikkim, Sikkim University, and Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of Jammu and Kashmir at Srinagar on Tuesday. 

A high-level delegation led by Sikkim governor Ganga Prasad arrived at Srinagar, on Monday. He was accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture Department Lok Nath Sharma, and Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University Prof. Avinash Khare.

The  Governor, minister and dignitaries were accorded a warm welcome at the Srinagar airport and Nehru Guest House Srinagar by the Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary) Agriculture Production Department ( APD), Attal Dulloo, and senior officials of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

The high-level delegation from Sikkim has also been joined by the senior officials of the Horticulture Department,  Principal Director Shri Sadan Tamang,  Director MK Subba, Director PL Basnett, Additional Director BL Dahal, Joint Director Robin Gurung, and senior officials from Raj Bhawan, Gangtok.

The accompanying members from Sikkim University, Prof. Shanti Swarup Sharma, Prof. Laxuman Sharma, Prof. Niladri Bag, and Dr. Santosh Kumar Rai, have planned to conduct empirical research on saffron cultivation in the field. 

Two progressive farmers, Kunzang T. Limboo from Lachung and ST Sherpa from Okhray, have also been allowed to join the visiting team to undergo a study tour on Kesar cultivation.

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has expressed keen interest in seeking support from Sikkim to expand organic farming in their state. The agreement would be significantly important to benefit both states mutually.

Also read: Tea crop affected in Northeast, East India due to rains: TAI

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