Srinagar: The Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal Thursday stressed for preservation and promotion of heritage crops of different categories including ornamentals, spices like (Coxcomb) Celosia cristata so that these agricultural assets could reach our generations to come.
While visiting the Coxcomb (Celosia cristata) crop fields of Nowbugh Gulab bagh, Ganderbal, the Director said that the cultivation of crops like Coxcomb is rare, therefore the need of the hour is that it should be promoted and preserved at different levels. He said the Department is committed to the promotion and preservation of such rare crops of Kashmir.
He said that the Coxcomb which is globally known by many names such as Amaranth, Velvet Flower and Wool Flower is used as an exotic spice in culinary delicacies and added that it is also the key ingredient in the preparation of much relished cultural Kashmir’s cuisine (Wazwan).
The Director reiterated that the Department will work to make sure that this unique Kashmiri ornamental spice could reach new markets so that the concerned farmers could get better returns for their produce.
He expressed delight and said that it is an encouraging sign that the educated youth of the area are taking this crop as a venture and employment opportunities are generated for others as well. He said that the Department in coordination with SKUAST will chalk out a plan for the development of rare crops like coxcomb
He directed the concerned field officers / officials to ensure every possible support to these Coxcomb farmers at their fields.
Later, the Director visited Paddy Seed Village of the concerned area and took stock of different farming activities. He asked the concerned field functionaries to inform the farmers regarding the post harvest management of Paddy and other vegetable crops.
He was accompanied by Chief Agriculture Officer Srinagar Mohammad Younis Chowdhary and other concerned officers of the Department.