Monday 26 September 2011

Saffron: The Empress of all spices

India the land of all Spices has always been the centre of attraction by outsiders since time immemorial for her bountiful natural resources with much exclusiveness.
 There was a time, a spice that had created much attention to the people of other countries and that is none other than the BLACK PEPPER; the KING of all spices.
 History witnessed that having a grain of BLACK PEPPER was considered to be the most fortunate one but with the passage of time, this has slowly transformed to public domain and now it is available to all.  
But, now in the 21st Century also some spices has still made its formidable position to be considered as most exclusive products.  And, it is SAFFRON that has made itself in the lists of exclusive category.
 If, black pepper is known as KING of all spices then SAFFRON should be considered as EMPRESS of all SPICES because it is the spice that has demanded highest market prices of all time.
It reminds me the present trends of the some exclusive products, in the World, some objects, objectives and practices are considered to be exclusive and being exclusive, demands exorbitant attention from all.
Of course, some say, it is brand exclusiveness, some same say, its brand’s monopoly, what ever may be the reason, exclusiveness drives more attention and finally, you know!
May point of discussion is the exclusiveness of Saffron; the spice of dessert snack as I understand fetches highest price in India and World market.
 The exorbitant price has made it difficult for a common man to ever taste Saffron to their taste bud. I had a chance to taste few pieces of Saffron but what type of taste or flavor it emits did not give with those quantities of Saffron I tasted.
 What it signifies is the skyrocketing price it fetches in national and international market.
Now, precisely what is that saffron, saffron is spice derived from the flower of the Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) and it produced in India, Greece, Iran, Spain and Japan.
 Saffron crop is grown in the soil with good organic matter content in the spring season. This crop requires good and well distributed rainfall for optimum yield.
   Unit yield is reported to be very low, agriculture Journal indicates that stigma of the flower is harvested and dried for final product and to produce a gram of Saffron requires more than 150 stigmas of the flowers. And, it could be the reason the spice fetches skyrocketing price.
     This spice although fetches skyrocketing price but it has not been tried to popularize in large scale cultivation in India and else where.
    In India, it is grown in Kashmir in small scale area and it has not been fully explored till date. In Jammu and Kashmir, recent media reports indicate that the Government is taking keen interest in popularizing the Saffron.
     My point of view is; price factor is due to small scale production and exclusivity which is skyrocketing the saffron price in national and International market. 
    As it is known facts that it can be grown in drier part like Iran to colder region of Kashmir so the crop can be tried in several regions of the country.
    The Government should take pro-active steps to popularize the Saffron cultivation so that farmers see the diversification of their farm activities and so are economic up-liftmen.
    Let the people relish the taste and enjoy the mouth watering aroma.


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