Kashmiri walnuts records bumper growth
Srinagar: In spite of the bad weather during its flowering season, the walnut industry has recorded a bumper yield this year.
According to official records, this year the annual production is likely to cross last year’s total production of 146,000 metric tonnes.
“The walnuts of the Kashmir have the distinction of being best in the world and there is good demand of the walnuts in the American markets,” said G M Khaki chief Horticulture office.
Cultivated over an area of 75,000 hectares, the crop adds more than 220 crores to the economy of the valley
“This year the production has been good. This will boost the trade of walnuts. We also export walnuts among other fruits from Kashmir valley and the business has been very encouraging,” said Abdul Rashid parray, a walnut trader from Kulgam district.
Widely known for their superior quality and taste, Kashmiri walnuts have high demand not only in the markets in Jammu and Kashmir but also in other Countries as well.
Ghulam Rasool, another fruit dealer talking to this newspaper said that as the walnuts have been included in the cross-LoC trade, it will certainly boost the morale of the walnut growers.
“Besides selling the dry fruits in the Indian markets, we have a good demand of our produce in other Central Asian countries. If the trade is restored through the Srinagar –Muzaffarabad road then it would help us to market our produce to Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan,” Parray said.
Walnuts are a high-energy food, rich in oil, vitamins and minerals. This fruit happens to be a popular ingredient in baked foods. As a dry fruit, it is in great demand particularly during the autumn and winter seasons.
“No just the Indian markets but the Walnuts of Kashmir have a huge potential in the world markets,” Bashir Ahmad a local trader said, adding ” The export of walnuts can bring good foreign exchange to the states economy ,”
Among the tourists visiting the Kashmir valley, no shopping list is complete without walnuts to relish during the holidays and also to carry home.
The walnuts unlike other fruits of the valley have greater shelf life and can last for more than one year.