Saffron bloom this autumn has again raised the hopes of a good harvest for the second consecutive year.
According to officials, this year’s harvest is going to break all previous records of production. From the past two weeks, in the early hours, villagers assemble at the fields of Pampore to pluck purple-coloured flowers and the harvest gives them the hope of a bumper crop. “If everything works, this year will break all previous records and the production will surpass previous years of the saffron production,” said director, agriculture, Iqbal Choudhary. “After the compilation of the figures, the production will be much above this year,” he said.
He said though the figures were compiled by the end of December, they get an idea by the harvest which had almost been completed.
Harvesting began in October-end and will continue till the middle of November. And from the past couple of weeks, the meadows of Pampore on both sides of the National Highway IA wore a festive look on sunny days with families thronging to their fields to collect saffron in wicker baskets.
“The almighty has been kind to us this season like last year. Though when there were predictions of snow in the last week of October, everyone got worried and were thinking that snow could prove disastrous at the peak harvest season. Fortunately, there was only rain, not snow,” said Manzoor Magray, a grower from Lethpora who has almost completed his harvest on an acre of land. “We almost completed our harvest. Now we will be drying the flowers for the final processing,” he said.