The sowing takes place in the months of June and July. The bulbs are placed in ridges of about 20 cm. depth. The distance between the bulbs should be of 10 cm.

In Jammu & Kashmir, district Pulwama accounts for 78.91 % Saffron area followed by Budgam (12.27 %), Srinagar (7.32 %) and Doda (1.5 %).  India occupies the 2nd highest area under saffron cultivation which is  2825 hectares but production is only 6.46 tons with an average productivity of 2.28 Kg / hectare. .The harvesting takes place between the end of October-beginning of November. The optimal temperature requirement for flower emergence is 17 °C. and a optimum amount of annual rainfall and snowfall (about 80-100 cm.) is essential for good production of Saffron but excess rainfall lowers it's production.

A decrease in relative humidity below 65 % reduces the production of Saffron. The flower of saffron blooms at dawn and should stay the least possible time in the plant because it withers quickly and the stigmas loose color and aroma. This is why they are gathered between dawn and 10 a.m.

Once the flowers are gathered, stigmas are separated from the rest of the flower.



The stigmas of saffron have a high level of moisture, so it is necessary to dry them for its good preservation. In Kashmir saffron is dried by two methods. In the first method the stigma and style are separated from the other parts of the flower and are then placed directly under sunlight.

They are left in the sunlight till the moisture evaporates, and only 10– 12 % water content remains in the stigma. In accordance with the temperature, it takes three to five days to dry the product. In the second method the whole flower is dried under direct sunlight instead of drying only the stigma and style. Subsequently the stigma is separated from the flower by hand. After the process of drying  the stigmas of saffron would have 1/5 of their original size. This means that for one kg of raw stigmas we will obtain 200 g of saffron ready for consumption.

For its perfect preservation, saffron is stored in big wooden trunks lined with metal plate inside protecting it from heat, cold and specially moisture.

                       
 
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