Cultivated by immigrants in Central Asia since the 1st century BC, Saffron is a precious spice weighed and sold per gram weight. Also called Bahukam, it is specifically cultivated at an altitude of 1,600 m to 1,800 m in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir. Due to its unique indigenous nature and being a speciality of that specific region, it has been granted a GI tag in 2021.
Saffron has wide usage and application in not only food and cooking but also medicinal uses. The world’s biggest market share of exports is currently with Iran, and India is a close second. This GI tag will help give the much-needed boost to the Indian export of this precious spice. This in turn will empower the saffron farmers from this region and help them gain a global presence.