The Red Stigma of Kashmir gets tagged

India is a country that has always been well known all over the world for its rich culture and traditions. Our country is filled with tons of things in every region that has its own identity and are unique with intrinsic values. A Geographical Indication or GI tag is a tag that are put on products that are specific to a particular location. The Geographical Indication is a part of the intellectual property rights. In India, GI tags are customarily used for agricultural products, food items, handicrafts, spirit drinks etc.

Kashmir is well recognized for its impeccable beauty and also for it's unique natural produce, one of which being Kashmiri Saffron and it is predictable enough why it needed to be tagged. Crocus sativus is the scientific name of the flower that produces saffron or zafran. Pampore is the specific location that produces the best saffron in the country and is thus called “The Saffron Capital of India”. This precious spice is obtained from the stigma and style of the purple flower in the form of threads. Kashmiri Saffron is the only saffron to be grown at an altitude of 1600 m and thus giving it it's unique characteristics like a longer and thicker stigma, natural deep-red color, high aroma and chemical free processing.

The Union Government in July 2020 found it crucial to issue a GI certificate on the saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley. It was done with the objective of increasing the production of the spice under the initiatives taken by the National Mission on Saffron. Apart from that, it is expected that the GI tag will reduce the adulteration of the Kashmiri Saffron and thus making it suitable enough to hit the export market as well as getting the right amount for the farmers, producing it.

Saffron has always been an expensive spice because of the presence of antioxidants, crocin, picrocrocin and safranal in it. The antioxidant crocin is known to contain anti-depressant properties, improve inflammation, reduce appetite, protect brain against damage and help in weight loss. Safranal, which gives saffron its unique aroma and color helps improve mood, memory, learning ability and helps against oxidative stress. Saffron is also identified as an aid against Alzheimer’s. With so many properties it is ought to be very special and is a must in every household even if in a minimal quantity.