Hyderabad: A Hyderabad-based private company has successfully grown Kashmiri saffron for the first time in Telangana and the pilot farming of the spice has shown good results.
Harvested once a year, saffron gives a rich and beautiful golden colour to the food and is synonymous with Kashmir.
Kashmiri saffron, one of the most expensive spices, has always been a preferred choice for many. From Hyderabadi biryani to desserts, saffron is used to give dishes a unique flavour.
“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. We were able to grow A grade quality (topmost) saffron in our farms,” Telangana Today quoted Dr Sairam Reddy Palicherla as saying.
Palicherla is the co-founder of Urbankisaan Farms Private Limited located in Hyderabad.
He also mentioned that through their innovative growing method, they were able to grow the flower in 40 times less space and with 20 times more efficient when compared to growing in Kashmir.
Usually, saffron is grown only for one month in 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,” the report said quoting Palicherla, who runs the company along with Vihari Kanukollu, the CEO of UrbanKisaan.
The vertical farming startup uses hydroponic – a farming method that doesn’t involve soil – to grow and deliver vegetables and fruits.