Kashmiri saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world, has always been a preferred choice for many. From Hyderabadi biryani to desserts, saffron is used to give dishes a unique flavor.
However, what if one does not grow saffron in Kashmir but instead does it in Telangana? One Hyderabad-based startup, UrbanKisaan, has successfully grown Kashmiri saffron for the first time in Telangana, and the pilot farming of the spice has shown good results.
“The saffron is grown only in Kashmir as it requires a special kind of weather conditions. We spoke to a few farmers in that region and bought the seed material in August. We created the required temperature and carbon dioxide conditions that are a replica of what it is like in Kashmir to grow the flower from which the saffron strands are derived. By doing all this, we were able to grow A grade quality saffron in our farms,” said Dr. Sairam Reddy Palicherla, co-founder, UrbanKisaan.
He also mentioned that through their growing method, they were able to grow the flower in 40 times less space and with 20 times more efficiency when compared to growing in Kashmir. Usually, saffron is grown only for one month a year, and the rest of the time it remains dormant and buried under the soil. “We are trying to break this dormancy period so that we can grow it two times in a year. The cultivation of saffron is being grown at the Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad,” said Palicherla, who runs the company along with Vihari Kanukollu, the CEO of UrbanKisaan.
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