16 July 1998
India ousts Spain in saffron race

INDIA is to expand its saffron farming following the rapid fall in Spains production of the spice.

This has presented India with an opportunity to grow the crop outside Jammu and Kashmire, the countrys traditional production centre.

The Sangla Valley has been chosen as an ideal location to grow saffron plants because of the quality of its soil and the climate.

Planting is expected to start next year, with 1,000ha (2,471 acres) planned for initial cultivation.

Farmers in the area are anxious to grow saffron because it fetches a price of nearly $400 a kg.

  • Financial Times 16/07/98 page 42