With an aim to promote Kashmiri saffron, which recently received the geographical indication (GI) tag, the Jammu and Kashmir government for the first time launched India’s famous saffron spice in the UAE market. A geographical indication (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.
Saffron produced in Kashmir was given the GI tag in July this year with the objective to put the Valley’s brand on the global map. Jammu and Kashmir’s Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Navin K Choudhary launched the Kashmiri saffron at the UAE-India Food Security Summit 2020.
Organised by the Consulate General of India in Dubai in association with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Invest India, the UAE-India Food Security Summit 2020 brought several key stakeholders from both the countries on one platform to share their experiences, deliberate on solutions and explore ways to further increase the collaboration in the food security sector.
“I am delighted that for the first time, Kashmiri saffron has been introduced to the UAE market,” Choudhary said on the occasion. Kashmiri saffron, also known as ‘Zafran’ in Urdu, is renowned globally as a spice with many medicinal benefits. It represents the rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. Choudhary said Kashmiri saffron was exported for the first time after it got the GI certification.“I am sure that its export will grow much more into Dubai and other cities of the UAE and elsewhere,” he said. J&K, recently awarded the status of union territory, is aiming to double its agricultural and horticultural produce through technological interventions and high yield plantations.
In addition to the UAE-based Al Maya Group which has launched the Kashmiri saffron in the UAE market, Dubai-based Lulu Group has also sourced horticulture produce from J&K for the Middle East. It has plans to procure apples, walnuts and saffron from India. The company has already shipped 10 containers (200 tonnes) of three apple variants from the Jammu & Kashmir region to the Middle East market.